Presentation Abstract

The Nooksack Indian Tribe reservation is located at the foot of the North Cascades Mountains, approximately 13 miles east of Bellingham, WA and the Salish Sea. The Tribe relies on a harvestable surplus of Pacific salmon in the Nooksack River for cultural, subsistence, and commercial purposes. Today, Pacific salmon runs are less than 10 percent of the runs in the late 1800’s. Causes of the declines are complex; however, it is well understood that the legacy of commercial forestry, agriculture, and development has increased sediment loading and water temperature. Climate impacts will cumulatively add to the legacy impacts, which are still evident today. The Tribe has been an effective member of a collaboration of agencies, tribes, universities, contractors, and NGOs aimed at addressing both current and projected impacts on water quality and streamflow. Whereas many restoration and planning efforts focus exclusively on either the stream corridor or adjacent upland land use when considering water quality, the Tribe has successfully integrated watershed-scale planning with reach-scale planning to more fully address the needs of fish in the South Fork Nooksack River. In particular, the tribe initiated a federally-funded comprehensive watershed conservation planning effort. The watershed-scale approach includes assessment of upland land use impacts and adaptation strategies to ameliorate downstream water quality issues. The results are driving the development of silvicultural and in-stream strategies to restore natural water storage functions. Concurrently, the Tribe received NEP grant funding as administered by WA Department of Ecology to develop a reach-scale protection and restoration plan for the SFNR. The reach-scale approach involves engaging riparian landowners to determine interest in protecting and restoring buffers along the SFNR and tributaries, and developing implementation plans for such action. Together, these efforts provide a case study in identifying in-stream, riparian, and upland protection and restoration strategies to support fish survival.

Session Title

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

Keywords

NEP, Agriculture, Riparian, Protection, Restoration

Conference Track

SSE1: Habitat Restoration and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE1-548

Start Date

4-4-2018 4:15 PM

End Date

4-4-2018 4:30 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, 4:15 PM Apr 4th, 4:30 PM

Integrating watershed-scale and river-reach protection and restoration planning to promote climate resilience in the South Fork Nooksack River (SFNR)

The Nooksack Indian Tribe reservation is located at the foot of the North Cascades Mountains, approximately 13 miles east of Bellingham, WA and the Salish Sea. The Tribe relies on a harvestable surplus of Pacific salmon in the Nooksack River for cultural, subsistence, and commercial purposes. Today, Pacific salmon runs are less than 10 percent of the runs in the late 1800’s. Causes of the declines are complex; however, it is well understood that the legacy of commercial forestry, agriculture, and development has increased sediment loading and water temperature. Climate impacts will cumulatively add to the legacy impacts, which are still evident today. The Tribe has been an effective member of a collaboration of agencies, tribes, universities, contractors, and NGOs aimed at addressing both current and projected impacts on water quality and streamflow. Whereas many restoration and planning efforts focus exclusively on either the stream corridor or adjacent upland land use when considering water quality, the Tribe has successfully integrated watershed-scale planning with reach-scale planning to more fully address the needs of fish in the South Fork Nooksack River. In particular, the tribe initiated a federally-funded comprehensive watershed conservation planning effort. The watershed-scale approach includes assessment of upland land use impacts and adaptation strategies to ameliorate downstream water quality issues. The results are driving the development of silvicultural and in-stream strategies to restore natural water storage functions. Concurrently, the Tribe received NEP grant funding as administered by WA Department of Ecology to develop a reach-scale protection and restoration plan for the SFNR. The reach-scale approach involves engaging riparian landowners to determine interest in protecting and restoring buffers along the SFNR and tributaries, and developing implementation plans for such action. Together, these efforts provide a case study in identifying in-stream, riparian, and upland protection and restoration strategies to support fish survival.