Presentation Abstract

The Stillaguamish and Snohomish River watersheds are regionally important to the health of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea and in particular for the recovery of salmon. The habitat gains needed to achieve salmon recovery in these watersheds include much of the agricultural landscape in Snohomish County, a situation that often results in conflicts between salmon recovery and agricultural communities. The Snohomish Conservation District’s National Estuary Program-funded Integrated Riparian Stewardship project is one of several efforts aimed at simultaneously achieving agricultural land preservation and salmon habitat protection and restoration in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, where pressures from development and climate change threaten both salmon recovery and agriculture, and where agricultural property owners may feel salmon recovery efforts impact their livelihood and way of life. The District and project partners undertook a planning and protection/restoration initiative to identify, protect, and restore high priority riparian agricultural and rural lands in the Stillaguamish and Snohomish watersheds. The District developed an Action Plan that identifies high priority areas for reach-scale riparian protection and restoration and outlines a comprehensive riparian zone management approach for three focus areas in the Stillaguamish and Snohomish watersheds. The Action Plan integrates existing geomorphic, habitat, hydrologic, and water quality studies to identify reaches and parcels on which to purchase conservation easements and complete habitat restoration projects in order to protect or enhance cold water inflows, restore salmon habitat, and improve or protect hydrologic processes. The District is currently implementing the Action Plan. We will share our experience with a precision outreach strategy and our successes in leveraging the easement program with grant funding and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and other grant funding to secure landowner cooperation and achieve reach-scale riparian zone management. Partners include Snohomish County, Washington Department of Ecology, Forterra, and NOAA Restoration Center.

Session Title

Protecting Riparian Areas in Agricultural Landscapes: Reach-Scale Planning and Acquisition Projects from the NEP Watershed Lead Organization

Keywords

Riparian, Agriculture, Salmon, Habitat restoration

Conference Track

SSE1: Habitat Restoration and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE1-449

Start Date

4-4-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

4-4-2018 4:15 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 4th, 4:00 PM Apr 4th, 4:15 PM

Integrated agricultural riparian stewardship in the Stillaguamish and Snohomish watersheds

The Stillaguamish and Snohomish River watersheds are regionally important to the health of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea and in particular for the recovery of salmon. The habitat gains needed to achieve salmon recovery in these watersheds include much of the agricultural landscape in Snohomish County, a situation that often results in conflicts between salmon recovery and agricultural communities. The Snohomish Conservation District’s National Estuary Program-funded Integrated Riparian Stewardship project is one of several efforts aimed at simultaneously achieving agricultural land preservation and salmon habitat protection and restoration in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States, where pressures from development and climate change threaten both salmon recovery and agriculture, and where agricultural property owners may feel salmon recovery efforts impact their livelihood and way of life. The District and project partners undertook a planning and protection/restoration initiative to identify, protect, and restore high priority riparian agricultural and rural lands in the Stillaguamish and Snohomish watersheds. The District developed an Action Plan that identifies high priority areas for reach-scale riparian protection and restoration and outlines a comprehensive riparian zone management approach for three focus areas in the Stillaguamish and Snohomish watersheds. The Action Plan integrates existing geomorphic, habitat, hydrologic, and water quality studies to identify reaches and parcels on which to purchase conservation easements and complete habitat restoration projects in order to protect or enhance cold water inflows, restore salmon habitat, and improve or protect hydrologic processes. The District is currently implementing the Action Plan. We will share our experience with a precision outreach strategy and our successes in leveraging the easement program with grant funding and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and other grant funding to secure landowner cooperation and achieve reach-scale riparian zone management. Partners include Snohomish County, Washington Department of Ecology, Forterra, and NOAA Restoration Center.