The South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group (SPSSEG) is working on a restoration projects package in the high-priority upper Deschutes River on parcels that are owned by the Center of Natural Lands Management at river mile 21 and Weyerhaeuser Company at river mile 34. The projects are geared towards addressing limiting factors for salmonids and improving water quality of the Deschutes river and Budd Inlet. SPSSEG will take this opportunity to use the projects as demonstrations for restoration, tools for environmental education events/curriculums, and to support the Treaty of Medicine Creek with co-managers, the Squaxin Island Tribe.
The projects will increase available habitat for juvenile and adult salmonids by installing large wood habitat structures and off-channel habitat. These projects will also contribute to reducing fine sediment inputs, temperature regimes, and polluted runoff that contribute to the river’s current TMDL and water quality issues in Budd Inlet. These projects are designed to help “determine the fate” of the watersheds fine sediment by encouraging natural sediment processes and deposition as it has become apparent that large-scale land use changes are needed to stop the inputs at its source. Native trees and shrubs will be planted to help shade the river and filter pollutants from stormwater runoff, as well as add wildlife benefit. At project completion, a total of 1-miles of instream habit and 8-acres of riparian area will be restored within the Deschutes River.
The projects have been 85% funded through the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and SPSSEG is in need of matching funds to implement the project. Designs have been finalized, necessary permits have been secured and construction is anticipated to take place across the 2023 fish construction work windows. The requested funds are necessary for implementation to occur in 2023 to fund items such as large wood, habitat structure installation and native floodplain plants and planting.