By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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The $3.6 million is part of a total $9.6 million in grants distributed among 11 projects to restore salmon habitat in and near Puget Sound.
The grants were announced last week through the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the Puget Sound Partnership.
The Port Angeles-based North Olympic Land Trust received about $3.4 million in grant funds, with $608,041 in matching funds to come from the land trust, for two projects.
That equates to a roughly 17.5 percent match from the land trust for both a $94,199 grant for acquisition of 9½ acres of land along the Pysht floodplain and a $3.35 million grant for acquiring almost 280 acres for protection of the Lyre River estuary and Nelson Creek.
The Jamestown S'Klallam tribe rounds out recipients in Clallam County with a $221,775 grant, plus a 17.6 percent match from the tribe, for the purchase and protection of 13 acres of Dungeness River riparian habitat.
Land trust projects
The $3.35 million grant slated for the North Olympic Land Trust will help fund the purchase of a roughly L-shaped swath of land stretching from state Highway 112 to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to project information on the state Recreation and Conservation Office, or RCO, website.
The land includes an estuary and a critical nearshore salmon migration corridor along the strait for Puget Sound salmon and steelhead species, according to the RCO website.
The first phase of restoration of the 280 acres will include removal of a house built in the nearshore and revegetating near where the Lyre River and Nelson Creek meet, according to the RCO website.
About 18 miles to the west, the $94,199 grant will allow the North Olympic Land Trust to purchase and restore 9½ acres of floodplain and riparian habitat along the Pysht River, the third phase in a land trust project that already has conserved 126 acres in the same area.
Restoration work on the 9½ acres will include removing a mobile home and outbuildings on the bank of the river and clearing noxious and invasive weeds, according to the RCO website, work that will be done in partnership with the Makah and Lower Elwha Klallam tribes.
The general public would be allowed to passively recreate on both parcels of land once the land trust owns them, according to the website.
The $221,775 grant secured by the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe will pay for the purchase and protection of a 13-acre parcel along the Dungeness River, about 2 miles south of U.S. Highway 101 just west of River Road.
The property's purchase and conservation will benefit numerous species of salmon and trout, according to the RCO website, and includes salmon spawning and rearing habitat.
State RCO grants also went to organizations, both nonprofit and governmental, in King, Kitsap, Pierce and San Juan counties.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.