For 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 stakeholders such as agricultural landowners, volunteers, local businesses, community partners and our full-time professional restoration crew.
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, volunteers, tribes and local government agencies to restore nearly 20 miles of habitat on the banks of the Snoqualmie River and its tributaries. In 2010, we began coordinating community input to capture the breadth of stakeholders and their visions for the future of the valley. Today, the Snoqualmie Strategy provides a platform for a collaborative partnership process that engages the residents and stakeholders of the Snoqualmie Valley in actionable items such as green infrastructure improvements in schools. 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.
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 an 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 Washington beautiful and its communities vital.
A Working Model
As equally important as our on-the-ground conservation work in the Snoqualmie Valley is the collaborative conservation model we are providing other “bread basket” regions in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Snoqualmie Stewardship and the Snoqualmie Strategy demonstrates how to effectively collaborate, compromise and implement. Together we find innovative solutions that meet the needs of both wildlife and human populations through sustaining healthy ecosystems and supporting a viable economy.
Long may the Snoqualmie twist, turn and flow!