$31M Steigerwald restoration challenge winding down

The restoration challenge additionally created greater than 100 acres of wetland, reforested 250 acres of riparian habitat, planted greater than half 1,000,000 bushes and shrubs, reconnected 965 acres of Columbia River floodplain, added 1.1 miles of trails contained in the refuge and benefitted salmon in Gibbons Creek.

“Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge has always been home to a diversity of wildlife. We are so grateful to our partners, volunteers and supporters,” Juliette Fernandez, refuge supervisor on the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge advanced, said in a information launch in regards to the reopening. “Through this amazing partnership, we have seen new habitats form right before our eyes, and we are already seeing wildlife respond like never before. This is an amazing reconnection for salmon, lamprey, waterbirds and other wildlife, but it is also an invitation for our visitors and valued community to reconnect in a whole new way.”

Wide number of companions

Laura Watson, director for the Washington Department of Ecology, stated the challenge helped “reestablish hundreds of acres of floodplain habitat in a portion of the river where restoration opportunities are limited.”

“A healthy Columbia River is essential for maintaining and preserving Washington’s environment and restoring our threatened salmon runs,” Watson added.

The restoration challenge had a wide range of companions, together with the cities of Camas and Washougal, the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, the Port of Camas-Washougal, the Washougal School District, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, the Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Washougal Department of Transportation and the Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards.

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