"PROMOTING THE SUSTAINABLE USE, CONSERVATION & RESTORATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN OUR COMMUNITY"
Removing Fish Passage Barriers on Private Forest Land
In 1999 the Washington State Legislature passed the Forest and Fish Law to provide regulations that protect 60,000 miles of streams running through 9.3 million acres of state and private land. As one of the largest and most comprehensive pieces of environmental legislation in the U.S., the law fully complies with both the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to protect Washington’s native fish and aquatic species and assure clean water compliance. One of the Forest and Fish law requirements is to replace all fish passage barriers, which are usually associated with undersized or damaged roadway culverts that prevent fish from swimming upstream. Not only does barrier replacement improve fish habitat it also allows landowners improved access to their forest lands and helps them meet timber harvest requirements. Replacing a barrier culvert can be an expensive undertaking, especially for small forest landowners who don’t generate significant incomes from their properties. To help offset these considerable costs, the state offers a cost-share opportunity called the Family Forest Fish Passage Program (FFFPP) that is co-managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. The FFFPP provides full or partial funding to small private forest landowners to replace fish passage barriers with upgraded structures such as large diameter culverts or prefabricated bridges.
Two private forest landowners in SW Mason County recently enrolled in the FFFPP and had their barrier culverts replaced with prefabricated concrete bridges. The two sites are located on a small tributary to the East Fork Satsop River. Prior to restoration, they prevented salmon from accessing 2.3 miles of high quality habitat farther upstream. The bridges were designed by Mason Conservation District Engineer, Rich Geiger, and constructed by Huhta Underground from Longview, Washington. The project was completed on time and under budget. More importantly, after construction was complete numerous spawning chum and coho salmon were observed upstream using newly accessible habitat! The Mason Conservation District would like to thank all of the project partners who contributed to this successful fish passage restoration project. A special thanks is in order for the Green Diamond Resource Company, for donating 50 native plants to the project to help create future shade and habitat along the creek.
If you think you may have a fish passage issue on your property or would like information regarding the Family Forest Fish Passage Program, please contact Evan Bauder, Mason Conservation District at 360.427.9436 ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Better Ground Website
At betterground.org, you will find all sorts of natural resource-related materials including videos, landowner stories, fact sheets, and resources to help you on your property.
Washington Shellfish Safety Information
Find out which marine beaches have advisories or are closed to swimming, and which beaches are closed to shellfish harvest.