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Natural Resources receives $656,000 for salmon recovery efforts

The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board awarded $21 million in grants across the state to aid in salmon recovery. Included in that allocation is nearly $814,000 to agencies in Chelan County.

The grants, given annually, went to 105 projects in 29 of the state’s 39 counties. The grants will pay for work to restore salmon habitat, including repairing degraded habitat in rivers, removing barriers blocking salmon from reaching the ocean and conserving pristine habitat.

“This funding provides the foundation for efforts to protect and restore the habitat our salmon and steelhead depend upon,” said Jeff Breckel, chair of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. “It supports the work of many dedicated individuals and organizations and leverages additional government and private funding. These grants are one of our best tools for reversing the decline of salmon populations. Without this funding, we simply wouldn’t be able to save salmon, which are such a critical part of our Northwest culture, economy and quality of life.”

In Chelan County, three agencies, including the Chelan County Natural Resources Department, were awarded a total of $813,982 for a variety of projects. The Natural Resources grant projects are:

Designing Restoration of Nason Creek near the Butcher Creek Confluence, $94,152: The grant will develop preliminary designs for a project to improve conditions in Nason Creek, just below the confluence with Butcher Creek. The department will identify actions to improve the cold-water feature and to remove creosote-treated wood abutments, which are contaminating the water, of a defunct bridge. The department also will evaluate the site, develop a restoration strategy and preliminary designs, and prepare permit applications.

Evaluating Reconnection of the Nason Creek Floodplain, $95,200: The grant will evaluate Nason Creek and the adjacent floodplain wetlands to develop restoration actions that will improve conditions in the creek and reconnect the floodplain. The department will evaluate the site, develop and analyze alternative restoration strategies, and prepare conceptual and preliminary designs for a preferred alternative.

Monitoring Entiat River Fish Movement, $45,380: The grant will evaluate which habitats fish are more likely to select in the middle Entiat River. The department will conduct surveys to see if more fish are using habitat where restoration has occurred compared with nearby unrestored sites. The department also will use mark-recapture methods (where individual fish are marked and their movement tracked) to compare the rates of fish movement in and out of high-quality pool habitats of different sizes and with distances separating them. The goal of this study is to provide information about the size and placement of pool-forming logjams for future restoration work

Restoring a Nason Creek Reach, $421,370: This grant will be used to place logs and tree root wads in the Kahler Reach of Nason Creek, a tributary to the Wenatchee River. The creek has been severely altered from its historic condition by wood removal, highway construction, and construction and maintenance of transmission lines. Adding logs to a creek creates places for fish to rest, feed and hide from predators. The strategically placed wood also increases access to off-channel habitat, which provides slow-moving water that is important rearing habitat for young salmon. The county also will plant the creekbanks to replace native plants that were cleared for powerline construction.

Also receiving grants for work in Chelan County were the Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, which received $127,273 to design a restoration project that will create spawning habitat for steelhead in Peshastin Creek. And Trout Unlimited Inc. received $30,607 to help 10 to 20 landowners relocate 20 to 30 beavers and install up to 100 beaver dam analogs in the Entiat River, Mad River, Chiwawa River, Peshastin Creek and other sites in the upper Wenatchee sub-basin.

“Washington has a unique approach to salmon recovery,” said Megan Duffy, director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, which provides support to the salmon board. “The local community decides which projects are important to them and to salmon. That process helps ensure we are funding projects local communities will embrace and help support. Salmon recovery would be less effective if communities weren’t involved.”

Last Updated: 10/21/2021 01:53 PM

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    The Canvassing Board of Chelan County, pursuant to RCW 29A.60.160, will hold public meetings at the dates and times listed below. The meetings of the Canvassing Board are open, public meetings under the applicable provisions of chapter 42.30 RCW, and each meeting shall be continued until the activity for which the meeting is held has been completed.

    Chelan County Auditor’s Office