Seattle Waterfront, Photo by Son Nguyen
Seattle City Light JIM BAGGS, Interim General Manager and CEO
Skagit River Hydroelectric Project
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Protecting and Improving Wildlife Habitat in the North Cascades Ecosystem

The Skagit River Wildlife Mitigation Program is designed to meet the requirements of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission License for City Light's Skagit Project. It includes three main components: acquiring and managing wildlife habitat; providing funding for wildlife monitoring to City Light's partners on the Skagit River; and administering wildlife research grants.

Land Acquisition and Management

To protect critical habitat for wildlife, City Light began purchasing key parcels of land in 1991. Examples of acquisitions include wetlands, upland, and riverine habitats. Target species, such as the bald eagle and elk, influence some purchases but the goal is to benefit multiple species.


City Light has teamed with state and federal resources agencies, Native American tribes, and several land conservation organizations to protect more than 14,000 acres in the Skagit and South Fork Nooksack River basins. Of this total, City Light owns more than 10,000 acres under the Wildlife Mitigation Lands Program. The Nature Conservancy honored this successful City Light program with a public service award in 1998.

City Light also acquires and manages wildlife habitat under the Skagit River Fisheries Program and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Lands Program. See a map of lands purchased under all three programs.

Monitoring Funds

National Park Service (NPS)
City Light annually provides funds to the National Park Service for wildlife monitoring. Examples of projects include population monitoring for bats, migratory birds, and harlequin ducks. City Light also provides a wildlife research laboratory for the NPS in Newhalem.


In support of U.S. Forest Service efforts to protect bald eagles in the Skagit River Basin, City Light provides funds for monitoring this species. Funds are also provided for educational activities during winter bald eagle viewing events sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service and Washington State Parks.

Wildlife Research Grants

City Light offers wildlife research grants to qualifying applicants on an annual basis. The primary goal of the research grant program is to facilitate the development of improved methods for understanding, managing, and protecting wildlife and their habitats in the North Cascades ecosystem, with an emphasis on the Skagit River Watershed. A secondary goal of the program is to contribute to the training of new researchers and investigators.

charm about to pounce

Logan U.S Forest Service

Since 1995, City Light has funded a wide range of research projects. Research topics have included riparian plant communities, aquatic invertebrates, shorebirds in the Skagit River Delta, lynx ecology, mountain goats, American pikas, wolverines, amphibians, and grizzly bears. These grant-funded projects have had direct relevance to the Skagit River Watershed and have been located throughout western Washington and into southern British Columbia. See map.

For more information on how to apply, please visit: Wildlife Research Grants Program
Related Content
View Map of Watershed

The Skagit Watershed encompasses parts of three counties and two countries. View a map of the Skagit Watershed.

North Cascades National Park - Animals

Get more information on wildlife in the North Cascades.

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