Adaptive management
Implementation Progress Report 2006-2015

The Cedar River Stewardship-in-Action (pdf) partnership between Seattle Public Utilities, King County Noxious Weed Control Program, and Forterra works to improve riparian habitat systematically on the lower Cedar River by controlling knotweed and other invasive species and replanting native species on public and private properties. Successful coordination with streamside residents is the program's backbone— over 420 private landowners have been engaged since 2009. To date, the knotweed infestation along the lower Cedar River has been reduced by 85%, and over 80,000 trees and shrubs have been planted.

Implementation of the WRIA 8 Plan has been "adaptively" managed by linking monitoring to decision-making through reports and presentations by the Technical and Implementation Committees to the WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Council. As new information becomes available, partners can use it to inform implementation strategies. For example, findings from a 2011 report on forest cover (pdf) loss prompted WRIA 8 to develop a "Trees for Streams" initiative to increase emphasis on working with public and private land owners to protect and restore streamside areas and promote education and outreach efforts to improve stewardship. This initiative helped lead to a $250,000 National Estuary Program grant from the Department of Ecology to help public and private landowners control invasive knotweed and reforest the banks of the Cedar River.

Weed sprayWRIA 8 partners work on similar basin-scale streamside restoration efforts in other priority areas of the watershed, including Issaquah Creek and Bear Creek. More recently, a 2015 habitat status and trends report (pdf) concluded that certain salmon recovery priority areas located inside Urban Growth Area boundaries are at the highest risk of further degradation in the short term. The report recommended, among other actions, that WRIA 8 consider additional management activities in those areas. In 2013, with support from the Puget Sound Partnership, WRIA 8 initiated a process to more comprehensively and clearly document monitoring and adaptive management practices and priorities, identify gaps, and work to directly link monitoring to the WRIA 8 Plan's habitat protection and restoration strategies. This work is ongoing and will serve as a foundation for the WRIA 8 Ten-Year Plan Update in 2016 that will include management recommendations and decision points for Salmon Recovery Council partners.