Grants Database

The Friends of the Snoqualmie Trail and River
Amount Awarded:
Project Title:
Snoqualmie River Defense Fund
Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, 2021
Water Resources/Watershed Protection
Central Sound
Project Description:

The City of North Bend, located on the Snoqualmie River, is on track to double its 2031 Growth Management target a decade early. Issuance of water certificates by North Bend’s water purveyors and a lack of an adequate mitigation plan endangers the Snoqualmie River. Funding is needed for expert legal assistance to protect the quality of the Snoqualmie River and its downstream resources.
On March 5, 2021, the WA State Department of Health approved a Water System Plan (WSP) that allows the City of North Bend to expand its water service area and continue issuing water certificates for new development without adequate mitigation of the Snoqualmie River. Inadequate mitigation leads to reduced flow and increased water temperature which threaten the survival of important local and downstream species including the endangered Chinook salmon. Chinook Salmon are the primary food source of a second species, the Southern Resident Puget Sound Orca. The impact of inadequate mitigation goes significantly beyond a local stretch of river.
For the past 4 years, Friends of Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River (Friends) have been communicating their concerns regarding the lack of adequate mitigation water in the event of a dry year to the City and state agencies to no avail. In 2015, the last dry year, the City was unable to adequately mitigate the river. According to King County, the Snoqualmie River’s 2015 water temperatures were consistently above state standards for designated uses and resulted in stressful and potentially lethal conditions for salmonids and other fish species. No additional mitigation sources have been added since then, but the City continues to issue water certificates. Even the City’s WSP acknowledges that in the event of a dry year that the City may not be able to properly mitigate the river. Friends have retained a water rights attorney and a land use attorney to assist with filing objections to the ruling.