May 2012 Newsletter
Snoqualmie Watershed Forum

Call for Project Submissions – Applications Due June 14

Project workAttention project sponsors! The Snoqualmie Watershed Forum in collaboration with the King County Flood Control District are inviting project applications for a Cooperative Watershed Management grant program launched for 2012. We will be allocating up to $600K in grants to projects in King County’s Snoqualmie and SF Skykomish Watersheds. This funding is made available thanks to a recent decision by the Flood District Board of Supervisors to allocate $3 million from the Flood District 2012 budget to support salmon recovery and water quality projects in King County watersheds.

See the Forum website for details and application forms. Applications are due to Perry Falcone by June 14, 2012.

Now Underway – King County Flood Plan Update

King County Flood Hazard Management PlanThe 2006 King County Flood Hazard Management Plan is being updated. Over the coming months, the county will meet with the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum, King County Agriculture Commission, city elected officials and staff, and other stakeholders to solicit input on flood and erosion concerns and actions in the Snoqualmie Basin for consideration in the Flood Plan. A public review draft will be available in September, and public meetings will be held in the fall. Proposed actions in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley will include farm pads and barn elevations that reduce risks to farms, and levee setback projects that improve flood safety while also benefiting aquatic habitat. In the Upper Snoqualmie Basin the county will continue to maximize grant funding to elevate and acquire at risk properties while developing actions along the leveed reaches to reduce flooding and improve environmental conditions in a long-term cost-effective manner. For more info on the Flood Plan update and public outreach efforts in the Snoqualmie Basin, contact Sally King.

Coming Soon – Homeowner Knotweed Workshops

Knotweed eradicationSince 2004, the King County Noxious Weed Control Program (KCNWCP) has worked to control invasive knotweeds in the Upper Snoqualmie Watershed. Current project areas for 2012 include the Middle and North Fork Snoqualmie above Three Forks Park, and the South Fork Snoqualmie from North Bend up. KCNWCP will host several homeowner workshops around the county including:

These workshops are free and open to the public. See here to register or for more info.

Streamlining Agricultural Drainage AssistanceAgricultural drainage ditech

The King County Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program (ADAP) was revamped in 2011 to reduce the number of permits needed to dredge agricultural drainage ditches. Costly and time consuming permits can now be avoided by implementing simple best management practices (BMPs) before, during, and after construction, and King County will pay for many of the BMPs. If you have an agricultural ditch that needs dredging to improve the productivity of your fields, contact Brian Sleight to see if you qualify for assistance.

Are you Firewise?

Forest fireKing County’s Forestry Program is working with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and area fire districts to raise awareness and help communities take steps to keep their homes and families safe in the event of wildfire. After just a few days of sunny skies our Snoqualmie Watershed woodlands are dry enough to catch fire. Firefighters do not have the resources to defend every home during a wildfire. By planning ahead for emergencies and doing a little yard clean-up you can make your home safer from fire.

Three Forks Snoqualmie RiverKing County Three Forks Natural Area Acquisition

King County Parks recently acquired a critical property, adding 22 acres to Three Forks Natural Area Park. The property, identified as a high priority in the 2000 Park Master Plan, was acquired for $400,000, with Conservation Futures Tax and Parks Levy funds. It is located at the confluence of the north and middle forks of the Snoqualmie River, includes the mouth of Normanbrook Creek and has spectacular views of Mt. Si. The 350 acre Three Forks Natural Area Park provides preservation for six miles of riparian habitat and passive public recreation use and includes a significant portion of the King County Comprehensive Plan-designated wildlife habitat network. 

Update on Tate Creek Re-alignment Project

Tate Creek Re-alignment ProjectIn 2010 a beaver dam at the outlet of McLeod Lake broke and instantaneously released a large volume of water, carrying sediment and woody debris down Tate Creek to the valley floor near Ernie Grove. The erosive power cut the channel bed up to 15 feet deep releasing additional sediment and wood down the stream. Residents incurred flooding of homes, property and blockage of North Fork Rd bridge.

As an adaptive response, King County Water and Land Resources Division and residents collaborated on a project to re-align Tate Creek, install habitat wood and install protections along the roadway. Thanks to the strong support from residents, this effort was able to rapidly recover the stream and protect road access at low cost to the public. This spring King County installed about 500 native plantings along the new channel to help improve channel stability and provide cover for resident cutthroat trout.

Earth Day at Oxbow FarmsCelebrating Earth Day at Oxbow Farms

Stewardship Partners hosted an Earth Day event at Oxbow Farm & Education Center on Sunday April 22nd. Over thirty Boeing volunteers joined us to clear and plant an area of 4,500 square feet on the banks of the Snoqualmie. We are hoping to host events throughout the summer to keep the community engaged and interested in the restorative efforts in the valley. We are always looking for ways to team up with other groups to showcase the work we all do. If other groups have collaborative ideas please contact Deborah Oaks. Read more about Oxbow Farm & Education Center’s conservation efforts.

Earth Day Planting at Stillwater Wildlife UnitEarth Day Planting at Stillwater Wildlife Unit

Sound Salmon Solutions had their Earth Day tree planting on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Stillwater Wildlife Unit. Partners in this planting were: Sound Salmon Solutions, Boeing, REI, Ducks Unlimited, King Conservation District and WDFW. A local Boy Scout pack also helped plant trees. One scout said, “I want to do this every day.”  The weather was perfect for the 35 volunteers to plant 900 trees along Harris Creek. This was the second year on a 3-year project for the Stillwater Unit.

Tolt River Restoration Project, RM4 Planting Event

Twelve students with teachers Shari Millikin and Jane McCoy from the Riverview Learning Center in Carnation spent a sunny April morning helping to restore salmon habitat by planting native trees and shrubs along the banks of the Tolt River. The sophomore and junior-level students joined staff from Sound Salmon Solutions to finish the riparian planting, part of an ongoing restoration project funded by Seattle City Light. More than 100 native trees and shrubs were installed on the 0.75 acre plot, in addition to another 270 plants that were previously installed with the high school earlier this school year.

Pesticide Free Alternatives - Just a Click Away

Play on the grass without worryFind a pesticide-free park where kids and pets can play worry free. Young children are particularly vulnerable to toxic chemicals because their brain, organs and bodies are growing and developing. They also roll around on the ground and put things in their mouths.

To keep children safer at home, find alternative ways to manage your lawn and garden without pesticides. Our Grow Smart, Grow Safe online tool gives pesticide-free options. Homes and parks that don’t use pesticides, or that use them wisely, keep people safer and help protect streams, Puget Sound and the animals that live here.

Forest Stewardship Classes – Coming This Fall

Washington State University ExtensionWSU Extension and King County DNRP will offer the Forest Stewardship Coached Planning series at the Lewis Creek Park Visitor Center in Bellevue on Thursday evenings this fall - starting October 4th. This class will teach landowners how to evaluate the health of their forest, and take practical steps to keep their forest on track to provide habitat, enjoyment, and even income for years to come. Participants will be able to develop a Forest Stewardship Plan, which brings state recognition as a Stewardship Forest, eligibility for cost-share assistance, and may also qualify owners for significant property tax reductions. Learn more or call 425-357-6017.

The Snoqualmie Watershed Forum works to protect and restore the health of the SF Skykomish and Snoqualmie Watersheds in harmony with the cultural and community needs of the Valley.

If you would like to be added or removed from the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum mailing list, or if you would like to submit an item for inclusion in the next Snoqualmie Watershed Forum e-newsletter, please contact Maureen Dahlstrom.

Funding for this publication is provided by King Conservation District.