Natural Heritage Program

The Washington Natural Heritage Program (WNHP) has been connecting conservation science with conservation action since its establishment in 1977. Using methods shared by NatureServe and a network of natural heritage programs, we catalog the plants, animals, and ecosystems of Washington and prioritize their conservation needs, helping guide conservation funding in the state and providing the framework for the statewide system of natural areas.
• More information: Natural Heritage Methods.
Information on priority species and ecosystems comes from a wide variety of sources, including government agencies, conservation organizations, consultants, and extensive fieldwork and research by WNHP staff. Site-specific and species/ecosystem-specific information is maintained in the Natural Heritage Information System, an integrated database that currently contains more than 7,000 records of rare species and rare/high quality ecological communities. These data are essential to planners and landowners, helping them make land use decisions that balance economic growth and development with conservation of our state’s natural heritage.
Washingtonians identify with the natural beauty and biodiversity of our state; recreating and connecting with nature from our coastline and mountains to sagebrush desert and grasslands. By conserving our native species and ecosystems, we can ensure that future generations inherit the Washington that we know today.
• More information: Conservation Planning.