Located on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the Upper White River watershed drains to Puget Sound. This watershed provides habitat for threatened Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Puget Sound steelhead, and bull trout, but it has been rated by the Forest Service for its “poor” watershed function. Since 2015, we have been collaborating with staff at Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and other partners to develop a holistic restoration strategy for westside watersheds while piloting project-level planning in the Upper Green and White River watersheds. A key success of this work is the Forest Service’s 2020 Decision on the Snoquera project, which authorizes restoration actions on 190,000 acres of the Upper Green and White River watersheds. Now, we are coordinating with the Forest Service to help implement the Snoquera Decision and to ensure public support for sustainable recreation in this landscape. As part of Snoquera, the Forest Service is relocating 14 dispersed campsites away from the Greenwater River in 2022 to better protect aquatic resources. In partnership with the Forest Service and community groups, we will lead dispersed campsite surveys to characterize the most damaging campsites, engage in planning to prioritize which sites to relocate (and which to simply close and restore), and implement restoration of 4 dispersed campsites and associated motorized routes during the grant period. We will also engage user groups to help with trash cleanup, native plantings, sign installation, and wildlife monitoring. Restoring dispersed riparian campsites, and the unauthorized motorized routes that access them, in the Greenwater area of the Upper White River watershed will directly reduce one of the greatest threats to water quality on national forest lands in this part of the Puget Sound, while advancing long-term stewardship of this landscape by building public understanding of the importance of watershed health.
Riparian restoration and community engagement in the Upper White River watershed
Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, 2021
Water Resources/Watershed Protection ; Environmental Education ; Habitat/Wilderness/Preservation ; Climate Change & Energy