What's New in the Snoqualmie Watershed

King County honors SVPA with Green Globe award

Snoqualmie Valley Preservation Alliance (SVPA) received the 2017 Green Globe Award for work as a Leader in Supporting Rural Sustainability.Congratulations to the Snoqualmie Valley Preservation Alliance (SVPA) on their 2017 Green Globe Award for work as a “Leader in Supporting Rural Sustainability.” SVPA Executive Director Cynthia Krass accepted the award from King County Executive Dow Constantine at a ceremony in Seattle’s Sculpture Garden on April 17.  The Green Globe award recognizes SVPA, formed in 2010, for its work building relationships between farmers, residents, and county and state officials. More information on the awards — given biennially to cities, businesses, individuals and organizations — is available from King County Dept. of Natural Resources and Parks.


Two lifelong watershed residents and community champions will be missed

Longtime Snoqualmie city council member and former mayor Charles Peterson passed away in April after a short illness. Charles was a current alternate member and former chair of the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum. Charles’ passing is a big loss for the city, the Forum, and for the Snoqualmie Valley. Read more from the Snoqualmie Valley Record.

Bob Heirman, an advocate for salmon and a longtime member of the Snohomish Forum, died April 29. A “Snohomish icon,” Bob was active in the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club for more than 50 years and kept records of fish counts going back many years.  The Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy, a fishing spot on the Snohomish River, is named in his honor. Learn more from the Everett Herald.


Channel migration studies available for Tolt and S. Fork Sky— your comments welcome by May 31

King County staff released studies and maps of channel migration zones on both the Tolt and South Fork Skykomish Rivers this spring, mapping the areas geologists consider at risk due to natural changes in the rivers’ locations. The draft study and maps for the Tolt can be reviewed at the Carnation Public Library at 4804 Tolt Avenue; those for the South Fork Sky can be reviewed at the Skykomish Library. Both can also be seen at the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER) office at 35030 S.E. Douglas St., Snoqualmie.  For more information about either CMZ study or map, contact John Bethel at john.bethel@kingcounty.gov. If you have questions about the King County channel migration public rule or CMZ regulations, contact DPER’s Steve Bottheim at 206-477-0372 or steve.bottheim@kingcounty.gov. Interested parties have until May 31 to comment.


Report documents Snoqualmie sedimentation patterns over decades

Also this spring, King County published “Snoqualmie River 1997 to 2015 In-Channel Sediment Monitoring” which looks at sedimentation patterns in the lower Snoqualmie downstream of the Tolt and Raging Rivers over many years, using cross-sections surveyed in 1997, 2004, 2011 and 2015. The study also references sparse cross-sections surveyed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1965. The discussion and summary begins on page 26 of the document.


Savor the Snoqualmie!

Savor the Snoqualmie and celebrate local food
Savor Snoqualmie Valley, begun last March, is an online, community-driven effort to celebrate and promote the local food and farms, arts and culture, heritage, outdoor activities, and independent businesses of the Snoqualmie Valley. Savor Snoqualmie Valley is coordinated by the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust in partnership with Valley government, business, and community leaders. Check out the new website and plan your next adventure at www.savorsnoqualmievalley.org.

Photo by Snoqualmie Valley Tilth.


Mark your calendar for these events in the watershed:
Celebrate National Trails Day June 3

Work with Mountains To Sound Greenway to restore trails in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie.


Get Firewise June 8 in North Bend

WSU Extension Forestry is offering free Forest Health and Firewise workshops, including one at the North Bend Library from 6-8PM on June 8.  Learn how to improve the health of your trees and get tips on helping your home or cabin survive a wildfire, a serious risk in foothill communities. See the WSU Extension Forestry website for details and online registration.


Learn about kokanee salmon June 17! Great for families!

The Snoqualmie branch of the King County Library and the Snoqualmie Tribe will host an event called “The Little Red Fish Legacy.” For June 17 only, the library will turn into a natural history museum focused on the story of kokanee salmon and their importance to the native people and culture of the region. Drop in anytime 10-5! Learn more from the King County Library website.


Explore the Snoqualmie Valley by bike!

Biking into the Snoqualmie Pass train tunnelJune 24: Start with a historic train ride before pedaling through forest and farmland on 20 miles of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Sample local food, meet farmers, and hear stories from the past.

July 8: Discover an incredible two mile tunnel at Snoqualmie Pass - a remnant of our railroad history. Ride a 20-mile stretch of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, see sweeping views of the Cascades and enjoy a BBQ at Rattlesnake Lake. For event details, visit Mountains to Sound Greenway Trips page.

Bike trail and tunnel at Snoqualmie Pass by Merrill Images.


Knotweed injector trainingThe word on weeds:

Learn to control invasive knotweed safely and effectively – and replant with native species -- at a free workshop by the King County Noxious Weed Control Program and the Snoqualmie Tribe. Participants can borrow the County’s knotweed stem injectors for their own use. The class will be held June 21 at Carnation Library and July 12 at North Bend’s Meadowbrook Farm, from 6:30-8:30 each evening. Learn more at King County's knotweed control workshop page.

Or, to help find and stop new invaders in our natural areas, sign up for trail weed watcher training on June 3 at the North Bend Ranger Station.


Poison hemlock plant and rootsDon't eat this plant!

Watch out this spring and summer for poison hemlock, a noxious weed toxic to people and animals that is abundant in the Snoqualmie Valley. The stems of young poison hemlock look like those in the carrot family, but eating any part of the plant can be fatal. Its toxins can also be absorbed through the skin or respiratory system; even dead plants can remain poisonous for up to three years.

Poison hemlock may be growing near you


In the news:

South Fork Sky listed as one of 2017 'America's Most Endangered Rivers'
Conservation group American Rivers deemed the South Fork Skykomish River near Stevens Pass one of America's Most Endangered Rivers for 2017 because of a proposed Snohomish PUD hydroelectric project and its potential impacts to river flows and salmon habitat.

Salmon fisheries set for this year
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and treaty tribal co-managers have set the Washington salmon fisheries for 2017; they are calling it a “mixed bag” for Puget Sound anglers.

Fisheries scientists in California say wild Chinook salmon could vanish from the state within 100 years

Read about salmon and flood control. Can rivers be contained by setting them free?

Enjoy this tribute to King Conservation District’s Mark Musick as he gets ready to retire


Educational resources:

Watch and share a charming six minute video about stormwater and the power of dirt to filter it!  The Washington Environmental Council premiered “Polluted Puddles” at the Green Infrastructure Summit in February.

Here’s a cool comic-type graphic that tells the story of “how salmon feed the forest.” While the last panel is about the Klamath, the information is appropriate to any West Coast watershed.


Snoqualmie Watershed poster

And, as ever, remember that the beautiful “From Mt. Si to Wild Sky” watershed posters – featuring the photography of talented Valley residents – are available FREE from polly.freeman@kingcounty.gov or by calling (206) 477-3724. Or stop by the Duvall Farmer’s Market on June 1 to get yours in person!


The Snoqualmie Watershed Forum works to protect and restore the health of the SF Skykomish and Snoqualmie Watersheds in harmony with the cultural and community needs of the Valley. For more information visit our Web site at: http://www.govlink.org/watersheds/7/.

If you would like to be added or removed from this mailing list, or if you would like to submit an item for inclusion in the next Snoqualmie Watershed Forum e-newsletter, please send an email to maureen.dahlstrom@kingcounty.gov or call 206-477-4777.

Funding for this publication is provided by King County Flood Control District.