City Light has purchased two properties totaling more than 32 acres of fish habitat through a Salmon Recovery Funding Board grant and the utility’s Endangered Species Act Early Action Program.
“Acquiring this land for conservation, protects important habitat for wildlife and fish, including threatened chinook salmon and bull trout,” City Light Environmental Affairs Director Lynn Best said. “This is one more way City Light is demonstrating its commitment to be a good steward of the waters that provide much of the power we deliver to our customers.”
Combined, the properties cost $145,500. They were first identified as opportunities for habitat conservation by the Skagit Land Trust, which contacted City Light about acquiring the land.
One property is on the Sauk River south of Darrington. It is home to beavers and contains wetlands that are important for overall water quality. The property purchase will enable restoration of a larger area to increase rearing habitat for multiple species of salmon.
The second area is in the Upper Skagit River east of Rockport adjacent to other City Light fish habitat purchases and will protect an active area for spawning chinook and steelhead. This purchase is important because the property had been divided into small lots and the habitat was threatened with degradation. By acquiring the property, City Light has solidified a major portion of this area for conservation while the utility continues to pursue additional lots.
To date City Light Endangered Species Act Early Action Lands Program has purchased over 2,712 acres protecting fish habitat, mostly for chinook but also benefiting listed steelhead, bull trout and other salmonid species.