To comprehensively map the Garry oaks of the Puget Sound to benefit nature and humanity.
The Garry oak (Quercus garryana) is a deciduous tree that is the only native oak of Washington State. Garry oaks are extremely drought tolerant once established. They provide crucial habitat to hundreds of plants and animals, some of which have become rare. The Garry oak ecosystem is classified as a critically imperiled ecosystems in our state. According to the US Forest Service, up to 99% of Garry oak habitat has been lost in some areas of the Northwest.
The Sound Oaks Initiative brings together Garry oak mapping data to further improve our understanding of Garry oak habitat in the Puget Sound region. The maps generated by this project have multiple uses and beneficiaries. Using cutting-edge GIS science in the digital cloud, interactive Garry oak maps are available in an easy to use map viewer to encourage stakeholder access and conservation collaboration.
“Garry oak and associated ecosystems support the highest plant diversity of any terrestrial ecosystem complex in coastal British Columbia.”
“Oaks are important ecologically at individual tree and woodland scales. Diversity of bird species is often higher in oak forests than in adjacent conifer forests.”
“Oregon white oak ecosystems are valued because they support unique habitats, extraordinary biodiversity, and many species-at-risk.”