November 2012 Newsletter
Snoqualmie Watershed Forum

King County is updating its Flood Hazard Management Plan and we want to hear from you!

You’re invited to a discussion on King County’s flood risk reduction strategies in your area. Please join us at a community meeting near you.

Tuesday, December 4, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
SnoValley Senior Center
4610 Stephens Ave

Why is King County updating its flood management plan?

Questions? Please call 206-296-8001 or email . Translation services and alternate formats are available.  Call 206-296-6591 or TTY: 771.

King County Flood Control District: Reducing Flood Risks, Protecting People and Property

Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program Project

Agricultural drainage and reed canary grass The Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program (ADAP), in partnership with the King Conservation District, helped a property owner remove sediment and reed canary grass from the waterway on his property.  The water level in the waterway dropped by over 12 inches as a result of the project.  If you have a drainage problem on your agricultural land, please visit King County's Agricultural Drainage Assistance Program website or contact Brian Sleight at 206-296-8025.

This photo of a culvert discharging into the waterway at the project site was taken after the project was completed.  The red line indicates the approximate water level before the project was started.

News from Sound Salmon Solutions

Butterflies, Blackberries and Knotweed
Noxious weed checkup in Snoqualmie ValleyOver the 2012 summer, Sound Salmon Solutions controlled noxious weeds such as Butterfly Bush, Knotweed, and Himalayan Blackberry on 37 acres in the Snoqualmie Valley.  This included 3 sites on the Tolt River, 1 site on Harris Creek, and 3 sites on the main stem Snoqualmie.  The sites ranged from initial control before planting to sites which are being maintained after being planted 5 years ago.  Of the 7 sites, 2 have been funded by Seattle City Light, 1 by the King County Flood Control District, and 4 by the King Conservation District.

Progress on the Cherry Creek Feasibility Study
Cherry Creek near DuvallAs the most downstream of the major Snoqualmie River tributaries, Cherry Creek is a valuable resource for Chinook and other salmon species.  Sound Salmon Solutions is working with the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and Wild Fish Conservancy to find ways to improve fish habitat on a privately owned property, while also providing a benefit for agriculture.  A variety of stakeholders with a wide range of concerns highlight the importance of a collaborative approach to the design process.  Sound Salmon Solutions and Wild Fish Conservancy will hold stakeholder meetings over the next month that will help inform and guide the design, and help ensure consensus for future restoration projects.

King County Cares
Volunteers from Microsoft help with a planting projectOn Friday, 9/21 we had 27 volunteers, mostly from Microsoft, come out and help us remove plant protectors, flagging and invasive weeds from project sites within McCormick Park in Duvall. This project was one of many held on 9/21 as a part of United Way King County's Day of Caring. The plant protectors help protect the young trees from voles and other rodents, but need to be removed when the trees are about 5 years old, so they don't choke the trees! We covered approximately 10 acres of trees in just 4 hours! These volunteers were super! A big thanks to King County for providing funding to implement this project.

King Conservation District Conservation Leader Award Presented to Snoqualmie Tribe

Snoqualmie Tribe awarded Conservation Leader by King Conservation DistrictThe King Conservation District honored the Snoqualmie Tribe with the KCD Conservation Leader Award for protecting and restoring traditional Tribal lands.
In 2012, the Snoqualmie Tribe partnered with KCD to investigate the response of fish species in a recently maintained channel. When the project was threatened by funding cuts, the Tribe donated $12,000 to ensure monitoring continued uninterrupted.

According to Cindy Spiry, “The environmental issues we face today are too large for one entity to have much of an impact alone. Partnerships are our best chance to have the greatest impact on improving critical habitats for fish, wildlife and people.”

Levee Remnants Exposed by Flooding Removed on the Lower Tolt and Chinook Bend

Remnants of old levee exposed by flooding removed from Lower Tolt River and Chinook BendBetween 2008 and 2011, City of Seattle and King County completed the Lower Tolt Floodplain Reconnection project and King County implemented the Chinook Bend Levee Removal project. Due to the large-scale nature of these salmon habitat restoration projects maintenance work is needed as the river channel changes over time. Work on both projects resumed for a couple of weeks this summer, when King County crews removed remnants of old levees that had been exposed by recent flood events. These projects occurred within the highest priority reach for Chinook recovery as identified by the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan. For more information please contact Mary Maier.

Waterwheel Creek Restoration Project

Waterwheel Creek restoration project aerial photoWild Fish Conservancy’s (WFC) Waterwheel Creek Restoration Project improves fish and wildlife habitat within the Cherry Valley Wildlife Area just north of Duvall.  The project also benefits drainage for adjacent farmland and complements other Wildlife Area uses including hunting and dog-training. It is the culmination of nine years of studies, planning, and coordination between WFC, WDFW and Drainage District #7.  Funding for the project was provided by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, King CD, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.  Stewardship Partners will be assisting WFC with the revegetation phase in the coming months. 

Wetland Habitat Reconnected to Snoqualmie River at McElhoe-Pearson Levee

Wetland habitat reconnected to Snoqualmie River at McElhoe-Pearson LeveeKing County and the Snoqualmie Tribe completed construction of The McElhoe Pearson Restoration Project, north of the City of Carnation. In August 2012, King County crews breached the McElhoe-Pearson levee and excavated a channel connecting the Snoqualmie River to approximately 500 feet of high-quality wetland habitat. The reconnected floodplain will provide juvenile fish access to habitat that has been cut off by the levee for 50 years. This project provides critical rearing and refuge habitat that will support numerous salmonid species, including threatened Chinook salmon. For more information, please visit the McElhoe-Pearson Levee Project web page.

WSU Extension Workshops at the Preston Community Center:

December 7th: Wreath making workshop
Learn how to make wreaths and wreath “kits” with materials from your woodland, get some ideas for small-scale marketing of special forest products, and enjoy a potluck dinner. Workshop includes materials (but bring your own boughs) and children’s activities. Information and registration available on the web or at 425-357-6023.

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.