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Tenino Ranch Restoration


The Tenino Ranch is one of the largest intact woodlands in Thurston County. It is a rare place, made up of a mosaic of habitats. From south to north, the upland prairie borders extensive oak woodlands which descend into one of the few remaining wet prairies in Washington, ending at Scatter Creek. Because this site holds so much potential for supporting a diversity of oak woodland species, the South Sound Prairie Working Group (15 agencies and conservation groups) invested Partner’s program funding in a number of restorative measures.


  • Douglas Fir and blackberry, “invasive” plants to this type of habitat, were removed. Nest boxes and cavities were placed in large trees as preparation for possible future reintroduction of white-breasted nuthatches, a candidate species in Washington state. Trillium parviflorum, a rare oak woodland species, were propagated and planted in the oak woodland.

    A 40-acre tract on the property was removed from a tree farm lease and made available for large scale prairie restoration. Initial restoration actions included two years of herbicide treatment, followed by a prescribed burn in 2014. The site was seeded with a diverse mix of prairie species in the fall of 2014, including seed of the federally threatened golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta). Initial prairie restoration seeding in 2014 resulted in an estimate of over 75,000 flowering Castilleja levisecta plants in 2015.

    The Working Group ensures that prairie restoration work is coordinated throughout the region. The Center for Natural Lands management provides stewardship for the property and oversees and coordinates site restoration.

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