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.

Project Objectives

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.

Want to know more about the Manastash-Taneum?

Check out the documents below!

July 2018, Manastash-Taneum featured in article “Washington Lawmakers Hope to Fight Forest Fires with Fire” – the side by side comparisons of treated vs un-treated forest stands were featured during a Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative annual stakeholder’s field tour on  May 16, 2018.R

September 2016: BRAVO! Manastash-Taneum Project wins national recognition award from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Click here to see a summary of Manastash -Taneum Resilient Landscape Project accomplishments for 2016

Manastash-Taneum presentation at Tapash Stakeholder’s Meeting, in Ellensburg Washington April 2017

Accomplishments in the Manastash - Taneum Resilient Landscape in 2016

  • 5 acres floodplain improvement for Taneum Creek Road 3300 realignment (USFS)
  • Fish passage improvements including the removal of fish blockages, fence removal, flood debris repositioning (DNR, Yakama and WDFW)
  • 0.75 miles in-stream wood replenishment completed (WDFW)
  • 73,000 trees planted on 550 post-burn acres (TNC)
  • 15 acres non-commercial thinning in uplands adjacent to streams (Yakama Nation/WDFW)
  • 573 acres commercial timber harvest (DNR)
  • 1,243 acres of commercial harvest Pre-Sale Layout (WDFW)
  • 6 miles of shaded fuel break contract awarded for work in 2017 (DNR)
  • 17 acres of land purchased along Taneum Creek floodplain (WDFW)
  • 181 acres layout for 2017 pre-commercial thin (WDFW)
  • Prescribed Fire completed xx acreage (WDFW, TNC, Washington Prescribed Fire Council)
  • Funding awarded by Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program for 950 acres of forest thinning, and helicopter placement of large wood for floodplain restoration, North Fork Manastash Creek
  • Adjacent Kittitas Fire Adapted Communities Coalition formed
  • In the Spring 2016, Northwest Public Broadcasting went into the woods with foresters who are learning a new technique for designing timber sales in the Manastash-Taneum.