Hamma Hamma Balds Natural Area Preserve
Features Protected: This preserve protects rare ecosystems and plants on fragile grassland balds atop ancient oceanic basalt. (Mason County)
Ecoregion: Puget Trough
This 957-acre site protects a montane herbaceous bald ecosystem that supports two additional rare ecological features identified in the Washington State Natural Heritage Plan: the Roemer’s fescue-field chickweed-Junegrass community and the common bluecup plant (which actually is not very common in Washington State).
Balds are open spaces within forests, typically found in rocky areas with shallow soils, which support a very different suite of plants and animals than the surrounding forest communities. The rock underlying the balds at Hamma Hamma consists mostly of basalt of oceanic origin created in the lower to middle Eocene period—roughly 60 million years ago. This fragile ecosystem hosts nearly 200 plant, moss and lichen species.
Science, Research and Monitoring
Public and private universities, other research institutions and individual researchers may contact DNR to propose a research project at the site. If you are interested in pursuing research at Hamma Hamma Balds, please contact David Wilderman, Natural Areas Ecologist, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Education and Public Access
Currently there are no formal educational programs at Hamma Hamma Balds. The site is not ADA accessible and facilities are not available. For more information, contact the DNR South Puget Sound Region Natural Areas Manager.