July 2009 Newsletter
Snoqualmie Watershed Forum

Carnation-Area Habitat Restoration Project Tour -
Wednesday, July 15 ~ 4:00-7:00 pm

Please join us for a field trip that will showcase current restoration projects in the Carnation Area. Site visits include

Tour the habitat projects with us in Carnation!Space is limited so please contact Maureen Dahlstrom to reserve a spot. The tour will start at Tolt-MacDonald Park Barn at 4:00 p.m. The Snoqualmie Watershed Forum meeting (open to the public) will follow the tour, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Tolt-MacDonald Park Barn.

Raging River Forest Land Preserved

Forestlands along the Raging RiverIn May 2009, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Cascade Land Conservancy, King County, and Washington Dept of Natural Resources (DNR) completed a long-negotiated deal to acquire 7000 acres of forestlands in the Raging River Valley.  This acquisition fills a major gap in the Greenway and protects a salmon-bearing river.  DNR will own the property with a conservation easement held by King County on 4,372 of the acres.  The property will continue to be managed as a working forest. Read more.

Help Restore Riverfront Park

Volunteer events scheduled for:

Workers removing ivy at Riverfront Park.To a casual observer, North Bend's Riverfront Park might be a nice shade of green. But upon closer look, much of the green comes from massive English ivy plants that cover the forest floor and trees. Ivy does not provide good wildlife habitat, it competes with trees for nutrients and its weight can topple the trees. The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and City of North Bend are kicking off a project this year to restore this park along the South Fork Snoqualmie River, thanks to a Watershed Forum Grant from the King Conservation District. Greenway volunteers will remove invasive plants and plant native trees to restore the park to its natural state.
To register: www.mtsgreenway.org/volunteer

Snoqualmie Blue Teams - Cleaning Up Our Watershed

The energetic "Blue Team" students.Nothing like a little kid-power to get things done!  And the Snoqualmie Valley had lots of it this school year.  In fact, 10 classrooms, totaling 220 kids, took on ten separate stewardship projects this year. Sponsored by a King Conservation District grant, the teachers signed up for a special program called "Blue Teams", where groups of kids took on a watershed enhancement project.  We applaud these dedicated students.  Learn more about their projects.

Tolt River Floodplain Restoration Project In Final Phase of Construction

Tolt River Restoration Project aerial photoThe second and final phase of the Tolt River Floodplain Restoration Project began last month. When completed this important multi-benefit project will offer significant public recreation and flood control benefits; improved spawning and rearing habitat for endangered Chinook salmon and other fish; and continued flood protection for the nearby City of Carnation.

To read about project details, construction activity and park improvements or get information on changes to parking and river access visit the King County Web site.

Chinook Bend Natural Area Habitat Restoration Project Underway

Aerial view of Chinook Bend showing limits of project area.King County's Chinook Bend restoration project is now underway. This year, the county is removing 1,500 feet of a degraded levee so the river can readily access its floodplain. The work is expected to last through August with the Natural Area closed during this time.

The project will continue next year with the removal of the downstream revetment, installation of road protection, and the addition of public. See the Chinook Bend Web site for more information.

Riparian Restoration on the Lower Tolt

Workers removing invasive riparian weeds along the Tolt.Seattle City Light (SCL) and the Stilly Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force (Task Force)have partnered on a 5-acre riparian restoration project on the Tolt River near Carnation.  The project will control non-native species in the riparian area including butterfly bush, Himalayan blackberries, Scotch broom and purple loosestrife.  These areas will then be replanted with native trees and shrubs. The Task Force will conduct community volunteer and student planting events in spring 2010. The project is funded by a Community Salmon Fund grant with match contributions from SCL and the TF.

Large Wood and River Safety

In response to concerns expressed by river safety advocates, King County is revisiting its policies pertaining to large wood in rivers. Until just a few decades ago, it was common practice to 'clean' wood out of rivers to improve navigability. Today, the placement of wood into rivers and streams is a key habitat restoration action. But, both natural wood and placed wood may pose hazards to river recreation, such as boating and tubing. A new stakeholder committee will advise the County on its large wood policies and practices, with potentially significant implications for salmon recovery. For more information, contact Janne Kaje at King County.

Salmon Recovery Funding - What's on the Horizon

Together with the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum, the Snohomish Basin Salmon Recovery Forum has been seeking funding to implement the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan. The Plan highlighted a 10-year $134 million need to reach its recovery targets. In 2007, the Snohomish Forum set a $15-17 million per year funding goal. The bad news - we've been averaging 34% of that goal. The good news - several recently confirmed awards will offer a boost, and some new funding sources (under negotiation) may still pan out. Learn more on the "confirmed" funding coming to our Basin this biennium.  Learn more.