Natural Resources Conservation Areas

Natural Resource Conservation Areas (NRCAs) protect outstanding examples of native ecosystems, habitat for endangered, threatened and sensitive plants and animals, and scenic landscapes. More than 125,873 acres are conserved in 39 Washington state NRCAs.

Clallam County

This site includes one of the last easily accessible, open stretches of beach on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Clark County

This combined natural area preserve (NAP) and natural resources conservation area (NRCA) protects the best known remnant of the Willamette Valley wet prairie ecosystem in Washington.
This combined NAP/NRCA protects the largest high-quality Oregon white oak woodland in western Washington.

Cowlitz County

This site contains a mixed conifer/hardwood forest along a shoreline, providing habitat for birds of prey.

Grays Harbor County

This area is the largest, highest quality estuarine system remaining in Washington or Oregon.

Jefferson County

This site represents a mature coastal forest, protects aquatic-riparian habitat and provides elk habitat.
This NRCA contains two freshwater wetlands and two sphagnum bog communities.
This NRCA protects over 250 acres of riparian floodplain habitat in the lower reaches of the Queets River.
This area is an old-growth temperate forest with scattered wetlands. Some trees are more than 500 years old.

King County

This area protects old growth Douglas-fir forest, subalpine lands, mid-elevation lakes, and habitat for marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl and native mountain goat.
This area protects cliff terrain, wildlife habitat, numerous riparian systems and old growth forest.
This NRCA supports a variety of wildlife including native mountain goats, cougar and black bear.
This NRCA provides important habitat for large and small wildlife including reptiles and amphibians.

Kitsap County

This natural area includes the best known quality example of the Douglas-fir–western hemlock/evergreen huckleberry forest community, and one of the only extensive mature and old growth forests in the Puget Sound lowlands.

Klickitat County

This NRCA boasts spectacular views of the Klickitat River, and is home to a variety of wildlife species.
This site represents of all of the Oregon white oak communities found in the White Salmon River drainage.

Lewis County

This site protects the ecological value of a structurally complex old growth forest.

Okanogan County

This NRCA protects twelve plant species of concern, as well as important habitat for nine wildlife species.

Pacific County

This preserve provides important breeding habitat for the federally threatened marbled murrelet.
This site contains western red cedar and Sitka spruce and habitat for marbled murrelets and spotted owls.
This site supports a remnant coastal old growth forest and is home to marbled murrelets and spotted owls.
This site contains mature conifer forest habitat including platform trees that support marbled murrelet nesting sites.

Pierce County

This site protects mature, structurally complex conifer forest and helps provide habitat for northern spotted owls. 

San Juan County

This NRCA is an important research site with a day use recreation and interpretive area.

Skagit County

This is the last largely undeveloped island in the San Juans, providing a reminder of pre-settlement Washington.
This area contains 160-year old stands of silver fir, mountain hemlock and associated plant communities.
This conservation area provides habitat for bald eagles, sea and shore birds.

Skamania County

This area contains relatively undisturbed upland and wetland forests, mountain meadows, and rare plants.
This area includes structurally complex, old-growth conifer forest that serves as nesting habitat for hte northern spotted owl, federally listed as "endangered."

Snohomish County

This NRCA features low to high elevation terrain; meadows, forests, and exposed rocks and cliffs.

Spokane County

This site is notable for dramatically sculpted terrain left by the floods which issued from Glacial Lake Missoula.

Thurston County

This site protects habitat ranging from shoreline to wetlands to mature second-growth forest.

Wahkiakum County

This site contains the county's last high quality, mature and old growth western hemlock forest.
This site contains mature conifer forest habitat including platform trees supporting marbled murrelet nesting sites.

Whatcom County

This site includes a very large, active beaver pond and various forest communities.
This site provides an uneven-aged mixed forest, making it very appealing to birds of prey.

Yakima County

This NRCA boasts spectacular views of the Klickitat River, and is home to a variety of wildlife species.