Endangered Species Act


The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a federal law designed to protect and promote the recovery of plants and animals in danger of becoming extinct. It requires federal and state agencies to work in coordination with local jurisdictions and private landowners to recover listed species. In Clark County, several fish species are listed as threatened, including bull trout, chum, chinook, coho and steelhead. Learn more about Salmon and Steelhead protection here

Threatened or endangered species

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, several threatened or endangered species either live or likely live in Clark County. For fish protection information, click here.

GroupNameStatusRecovery plan(s)
Northern spotted owlThreatened
Revised Recovery Plan for the Northern Spotted Owl (PDF)

Bull trout

Steelhead trout

Coho salmon

Chinook salmon

Chum salmon


Draft Recovery Plan for the Jarbidge River Distinct Population Segment of Bull Trout (PDF)

Draft Recovery Plan for the Coastal-Puget Sound Distinct Population Segment of Bull Trout (PDF)

Draft Recovery Plan for Three of the Five Distint Population Segments of Bull Trout (PDF)

Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board. Lower Columbia Salmon Recovery and Fish & Wildlife Subbasin Plan, May 2010, Vol I.-Ch.6 Recovery Strategies & Benchmarks (PDF)

Flowering plants

Bradshaw's desert-parsley


Water howellia


(Updated list from WA DNR)



Final Recovery Plan for the Prairie Species of Western Oregon and Southwest Washington (PDF)

Water Howellia Recovery Plan, Public and Agency Review Draft (PDF)

Varies per species

MammalsNorth American wolverine

Brush Prairie pocket gopher
Proposed threatened



The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains “species of concern” lists for the state.

County protection efforts

The county has a variety of regulations and programs to protect species, including:

  • Development code – County code has several sections that require developers to protect critical areas that may include or affect protected species, such as the county’s shorelines and critical areas programs.
  • Habitat protection – Clark County has a Legacy Lands program to safeguard ecologically important area, along with programs to restore critical properties and issue habitat permits to minimize human disturbance to these to habitat areas.
  • Enhancement programs – Several county departments work to improve the quality of wildlife habitat. Many of these programs involve partnerships with state and local agencies to ensure efficient and effective use of resources. Efforts may include habitat restoration through plantings, fish barrier removal projects, stormwater improvement projects, sustainable forestry initiatives and integrated pest management practices to manage noxious weeds.
  • Outreach and education – These programs provide information to the public on what they can do to protect, enhance and restore valuable habitat.
  • Pollinators - protecting pollinator habitat and food sources are important to our local food production. Clark County takes a multi-task approach to this work:
    • Plant pollinator habitat - many of our stormwater facilities, parks, and natural areas contain plants that are beneficial to host species development as well as provide food for a variety of pollinators. Learn more about the state's Bee-U-Tify program for free seeds. Click here for signs about the flowers in the seeds.
    • Chemical management - Clark County staff actively review use of pesticides and herbicides to minimize risk to pollinators including careful review of type of chemical use and timing of use.
    • Vegetation management - Clark County is required to manage for noxious weeds. Many of these noxious plants are favorites to local bees and butterflies. Our crews carefully review types of management strategies to minimize impact to bees and pollinators, such as waiting until after flowers have finished blooming before removal.

Invasive Species

Invasive aquatic, riparian and terrestrial species harm the productivity, value and management of Clark County’s broad range of water and land resources. They are the second greatest threat to biodiversity worldwide after human-caused habitat destruction. Invasive species are also a significant threat to almost half the native species currently listed as federally endangered.

If you see an invasive species, please report it:

Plants - Clark County Noxious Weed Management 564.397.6140. Learn more here.

Animals - Washington Invasive Species Council - Learn more here.

You can help! Learn how to stop the spread of invasive species here with the Play!Clean!Go! campaign.