The Majestic Methow on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Due to the geographic stretch of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, which spans much of central Washington, no one single landscape dominates the forest. From the shrub-steppe of the eastern edge to heavy, old-growth forests to the snowy peaks of the Cascades—this forest has it all.
The Methow Valley lures the urban population of Puget Sound to this iconic landscape of big valleys, open wild spaces, high ridges and beautiful rivers. Amidst the pristine landscape of the National Forest, the Methow River, the valley’s namesake, provides critical spawning and rearing habitat for endangered and threatened Chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout.
A number of different factors threaten the overall health of the Majestic Methow. The forest is experiencing uncharacteristically severe fires, wildlife and fish habitat loss, hydrological problems, and insect infestations. The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest experienced severe wildfires in 2014 and 2015, burning hundreds of thousands of acres causing damaging floods. These problems are partly the result of past actions, including forest management, large-scale road construction, and fire suppression. The likely impacts of climate change over the coming decades are likely to exacerbate these issues and increase future restoration and management costs.
Since 2013, we have been working with the Forest Service and local partners to restore this amazing landscape. Our efforts have supported a comprehensive restoration and community engagement strategy, including fish and wildlife habitat restoration, trail restoration and maintenance to support sustainable recreational use, forest restoration including fuels reduction, and the removal of invasive plants.
From the shrub-steppe of the eastern edge to heavy, old-growth forests to the snowy peaks of the Cascades—this forest has it all and we will ensure it stays healthy for future generations.