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9/23/2013

County, state move to preserve prime habitat on edge of Ridgefield

Contact

Don Benton, Environmental Services
Phone: (360) 397-2121 ext. 5358

Patrick Lee, Environmental Services
Phone: (360) 397-2121 ext. 4070

Vancouver, WA – More than 30 species native to Clark County would be protected under a plan for the county to purchase up to 160 acres east of Lake River near the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge.

The county will oversee appraisals, surveys and other technical work to develop specific boundaries for a proposed acquisition that could be completed by next spring. The site is primarily along Flume Creek immediately south of Ridgefield, although portions are within Ridgefield’s city limits and urban growth boundary.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has identified a high concentration of wildlife in the area, which could help sustain native species and provide an area advantageous for research and environmental education. Habitats include mature forest, shorelines, riparian habitat, wetlands and floodplains.

“This area, in and around the refuge, represents one of the most important ecosystems in southwest Washington” said Don Benton, the county’s environmental services director. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity and support for conserving some of the open space under our Legacy Lands program.”

Funding for the project would come from a state grant and Clark County in equal amounts. Each share is currently estimated at $1.1 million. The state’s share would come from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation - Urban Wildlife Habitat program. The county’s share would come from Conservation Futures fund.

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