Within the eastern Cascades, the challenges currently facing our forested ecosystems from past management and future climate change have prompted a wide-scale shift in land management to focus on ecological restoration. Solutions to these issues are at a scale that transcends ownership boundaries. The Tapash Collaborative partners have evaluated priority areas across the 2.3 million acre Tapash landscape and in 2014 identified watersheds within the Manastash-Taneum landscape as a priority for restoration treatments. In the fall of that year, the Tapash Collaborative launched the Manastash-Taneum Resilient Landscape Restoration Project (MTRL-RP) as a flagship effort to demonstrate cross-ownership, integrated terrestrial and aquatic landscape-scale ecosystem restoration that benefit people and nature.
This is a 90,000-acre landscape that includes ownership by WDNR, WDFW, USFS, and now TNC (formerly Plum Creek Timberlands). The landscape transitions from shrub-steppe foothills to dry ponderosa pine forests to dry mixed conifer forest in lowlands and moist mixed conifer forest in the higher elevations and is home to several listed species including Northern Spotted Owl, Steelhead, and bull trout.
Following the Okanogan-Wenatchee Restoration Strategy, a landscape evaluation was completed in early 2015 followed by a series of land manager workshops and field tours to discuss priority areas based on the evaluation and the aquatic and terrestrial objectives agreed to by partners at the onset of planning. In 2016, Haugo et al. completed the MTRL-RP Landscape Evaluations and Prescriptions to set collaborative restoration goals. The objective is to “restore the resiliency of forest and aquatic ecosystems in order to continue providing critical fish and wildlife habitat and ecosystem services while reducing the risk of catastrophic fire to local communities in the face of a warming climate.” The best available science is used to balance ecological objectives with economic viability, produce commercial timber products where possible, and maintain sustainable recreational opportunities.
Partnerships, Funding, and Community Support
The 78,650 acre project includes lands managed by the State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, State Dept. of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, USDA Forest Service, and ceded lands of the Yakama Nation. Key partners have included: University of Washington, WA Conservation and Science Institute, Stewardship Forestry and Science consultants, the WA Wildlife and Recreation Program, Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and Bonneville Power Administration.
Accomplishments in the Manastash - Taneum Resilient Landscape
floodplain improvement for Taneum Creek Road 3300 realignment (USFS).
miles in-stream wood replenishment completed (WDFW).
non-commercial thinning in uplands adjacent to streams (Yakama Nation/WDFW).
trees planted on 550 post-burn acres (TNC).
acres commercial timber harvest (DNR).
of commercial harvest Pre-Sale Layout (WDFW).
of land purchased along Taneum Creek floodplain (WDFW).
of shaded fuel break contract awarded for work in 2017 (DNR).
Funding awarded by Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program for 950 acres of forest thinning, and helicopter placement of large wood for floodplain restoration in the North Fork of Manastash Creek.
Adjacent Kittitas Fire Adapted Communities Coalition formed.
Fish passage improvements including the removal of fish blockages, fence removal, flood debris repositioning (DNR, Yakama and WDFW).
Prescribed Fire completed (WDFW, TNC, Washington Prescribed Fire Council).
Want to know more about the Manastash-Taneum?
Check out the links below!