The Chelan County Natural Resource Department (CCNRD) works with the County Community Development Department on land use planning issues that relate to natural resources management. CCNRD also works with regional partners to develop and implement watershed management plans and salmon recovery plans.
The 1998 state legislature passed Ch. 90.82 RCW, to set a framework for locally-based watershed planning in each of the 62 Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIAs) in the State. The intent of this legislation is to have local stakeholders address water related issues in their own watershed through a “Planning Unit”. The Planning Unit is comprised of those entities most familiar with instream and out-of-stream demands on the water resource and those who have the greatest stake in the proper, long-term management of the resources. Planning Units are comprised of local citizens, businesses, public agencies, Tribes and local organizations.
The Washington State Department of Ecology administers grant funding and provides guidance to the Planning Units through the development and implementation of watershed management plans. These plans must address water quantity issues. In addition, the plans may also address water quality, instream flow and salmon habitat. There are four watersheds (WRIAs) within Chelan County and each area is in different stages of the watershed planning process. Chelan County is the designated Lead Agency for administering and coordinating the watershed planning processes for the Stemilt/Squilchuck (WRIA 40a), Wenatchee (WRIA 45) and Chelan (WRIA 47) Watersheds. Cascadia Conservation District is the designated Lead Agency for the Entiat (WRIA 46) Watershed. For the Wenatchee and Entiat Watersheds, development and implementation of the watershed plans are closely coordinated with Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Planning.