SNOQUALMIE STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM

 

 

For 15 years the Snoqualmie Stewardship Program has coordinated habitat restoration in the Snoqualmie Valley to help maintain economic viability of farms and forestland while helping landowners restore fish and wildlife habitat. Only a 30-minute drive from the urban center of  the greater Seattle area, the communities, farmland and habitat of the Snoqualmie Valley make up a thriving rural agricultural landscape with significant ecological features and wildlife habitat.

 

The Snoqualmie Stewardship Program coordinates hands-on restoration, educational activities and community participation in the Snoqualmie Valley. Our success stems from our collaborative efforts with volunteers, business groups and community partners.

What We Do:

  • Coordinate habitat restoration projects that open fish habitat, plant native trees, restore wetlands and protect farmland.
  • Collaborate with landowners and connect them with available resources to  help them be better stewards of their own land.
  • Promote opportunities for businesses and groups to invest in the valley’s future through our Adopt-a-Buffer program.
  • Educate partners about sustainable practices and innovative approaches to protecting the wild environment along with working forests and farms.
  • Facilitate strategic planning and organize fieldwork through the Snoqualmie Strategy to coordinate regional and local watershed planning and salmon recovery efforts.

Since 2002,  the Snoqualmie Stewardship program has worked with farmers, non-profits, tribes and local government agencies to restore more than 13 miles of habitat on the banks of the Snoqualmie River and its major tributaries. Beginning in 2010, we began coordinating community input  to capture the breadth visions for the future of the valley.  Today, in partnership with Mountains to Sound Greenway, the Snoqualmie Strategy provides a platform for a collaborative partnership process that engages the residents and stakeholders of the Snoqualmie Valley.  This effort is led by a coalition of 50-75 leaders from different interest groups across the valley (the Snoqualmie Valley Stakeholders). The Snoqualmie Strategy’s mission is to establish, and work towards, a shared vision and goals for a sustainable future for the valley that incorporates the environment, the economy and the people who live, work and visit the Snoqualmie Valley.

In 2015,  we launched the Adopt-a-Buffer program to connect the larger community to the future of the Snoqualmie River by creating opportunities to engage businesses and volunteer groups in habitat restoration. Although we have had great success in restoring the river’s riaprian habitats, it will take greater community efforts to manage habitat restoration projects and maintain the restored buffers of native plants and trees along the river. These buffers provide critical habitat for fish and wildlife as they provide shade and reduce erosion. Adopt-a-Buffer provides the opportunity for regional partners to help she the future of the Snoqualmie Valley.

Our Place

From the base of Snoqualmie Falls to the mouth of the  river in the city of Monroe, the Snoqualmie meanders 43 miles, carrying with it some of the healthiest remaining salmon runs in Washington. In the early 1980s, the river and its many tributaries produced more coho salmon than the entire west coast of Oregon. But the intervening decades have not been so kind to the river and its salmon runs. By 2001, the Snoqualmie was listed as one of America’s “10 most endangered rivers,” in a annual poll by American Rivers. The 15,000 acres of  fertile farmland in the valley is both an important local food resource and vital to maintaining the open rural landscape that keeps Washngton beautiful and its communities vital..

A Working Model

Perhaps more important than our actual on-the-ground conservation work in the Snoqualmie Valley is the collaborative conservation model we are providing for other “bread basket” regions in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Snoqualmie Stewardship and the Snoqualmie Strategydemonstrates how to effectively collaborate and compromise. Together we find innovative solutions that meet the needs of both wildlife and human populations through sustaining healthy ecosystems and supporting a viable and sustainable economy.

Long may the Snoqualmie twist, turn and flow!

Check out our map of Snoqualmie Stewardship restoration projects:

 

Check out our new Adopt-A-Buffer program!

"Stewardship Partners helped us create a farm that is in balance with the natural environment."

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– Luke Woodward
Oxbow Farm