Scotch Creek
Wildlife Area Location

Jim Olson
1514 Concunully Highway
Okanogan, WA 98840
(509) 826-4430

Wildlife Areas

Scotch Creek Wildlife Area
Scotch Creek machineryFunding

All of the properties for the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area units were purchased by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) with funds provided by the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP). These funds are provided by the Washington State legislature, in response to the rapidly expanding human population in Washington State, to protect critical wildlife habitats and recreation areas. In the first year of this program, Okanogan County received funding for approximately 12,000 acres of critical shrub-steppe habitat, for the protection of Sharp-tailed Grouse (STG) and other obligate species. This was the beginning of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area (SCWA), which has expanded with this funding program to the present size of 16,560 acres in three geographic locations of North Central Okanogan County.

At the time of acquisition in 1991, the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area units were complexed with the Sinlahekin wildlife area to the north and the operation and maintenance funding provided for the Sinlahekin was shared between all areas. Operations and maintenance funding at that time was from Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Funds (PR), with state general funds providing a 25% match for Federal Aid dollars. Funding was tight in those days, however the WWRP provided stewardship money for the first three years after acquisition, which covered weed control and boundary fence construction and survey. Also the DFW Upland Restoration program was very active at that time and provided much needed upland and riparian restoration to the area.

A huge change occurred in 1997 when the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) accepted full management responsibilities of the Scotch Creek properties. This contract with BPA would partially meet BPA’s mitigation obligation to compensate for wildlife losses resulting from the construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph hydroelectric dams. By funding the habitat enhancements and operations and maintenance (O&M) for the life of the project, BPA will receive credit towards their mitigation debt. The budget for the 2006 fiscal year is $289,225, which supports all operations and maintenance including salaries on the area. This increase in funding allowed the DFW to separate the Sinlahekin and Scotch Creek Wildlife Areas. New staff was hired and all equipment for field and office was purchased. A new wildlife area was created.

Staff at the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area includes:

  • Wildlife Area Manager, Fish & Wildlife Biologist 3
  • Wildlife Area Assistant Manager, Maintenance Mechanic
  • 9-month career seasonal, Maintenance Mechanic
  • 6-month seasonal Washington Conservation Corp (crew of 4)