Nisqually Good Neighbor Handbook


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Nisqually Good Neighbor Handbook

  1. 1. Good Neighbor Handbook A Guide for Landowners in the Nisqually Watershed Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 1 9/2/2011 3:04:07 PM
  2. 2. Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 2 9/2/2011 3:04:16 PM
  3. 3. Welcome to the Nisqually Watershed landowners should be aware of and to provide resources for more information. The Handbook helps you to sift through the multiple jurisdictions and variety of federal, county, city, and local programs operating in the Watershed to make finding the right answers easier for you and better for the Nisqually. This guide has been produced by the Nisqually River Council. The Nisqually River Council is a coordinating council of watershed governments and citizens that work to preserve, protect, and promote the benefits of the Nisqually Watershed through collaboration, education, and advocacy. More information about the Nisqually River Council can be found at www. The Nisqually Watershed encompasses all lands which drain to the Nisqually River and includes the communities of Ashford, Elbe, Mineral, Eatonville, McKenna, Roy, Yelm, Fort Lewis, and portions of Graham, Lacey, DuPont, and Rainier. In Washington state, we organize our water management laws and regulations based on watershed boundaries. This publication is dedicated to the Nisqually Watershed. Photo courtesy of Roddy Scheer © Whether you own, manage, or are considering buying property in the Nisqually Watershed, this Good Neighbor Handbook is for you. In one way or another, every person who has ever lived here, from the Native Americans to the sawmill operators and dairy farmers, has played a role in shaping the landscape. Everyone in the Nisqually has also been inspired by the landscape at some time or another, by everything from a breath-taking view to a quintessential small town moment. This handbook offers guidelines and ideas culled from many local sources: residents, scientists, government, tribal leaders, naturalists, educators, contractors, and possibly your future neighbors. It provides you with resources and information that will help you make the most of your Nisqually experience. While this collective input comes from many people in many walks of life, it has a running theme: a deep appreciation of the Nisqually Watershed. Our hope is that this guide will help you to enjoy and protect all the unique beauty and natural resources of the Nisqually. The Handbook was designed to provide a summary of the land development considerations new rural ~3~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 3 9/2/2011 3:04:20 PM
  4. 4. Table of Contents Welcome to the Nisqually Watershed. ........................... 3 . About the Nisqually Watershed...................................... 5 Nisqually Watershed Resources The Natural Economy of the Nisqually Watershed ....... 6 Recreation ..................................................................... 7 Fish................................................................................. 9 Wildlife......................................................................... 10 Transportation ............................................................. 12 Hydro-Power and Multiple Use................................... 13 Natural Hazards............................................................ 14 Nisqually Watershed Land Management Building and Development.......................................... 16 . Water ........................................................................... 17 Riparian and Wetland Management............................. 18 Noxious Weeds............................................................. 19 Stormwater and Low Impact Development................. 20 . Forestry ....................................................................... 22 Agriculture................................................................... 23 Livestock Management................................................ 25 Land Conservancy........................................................ 27 Nisqually Resources..................................................... 30 Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 4 9/2/2011 3:04:24 PM
  5. 5. About the Nisqually Watershed The Nisqually is the only watershed in the United States with its headwaters in a national park and its delta in a national wildlife refuge. It is located within an hour’s drive of three metropolitan areas, yet remains one of the healthiest and least developed of the major Puget Sound rivers. Along its 78-mile course, the river traverses forested, mountainous terrain and rolling farmlands in three counties, several small towns, the Nisqually Indian Reservation, and the Joint Base Lewis-McChord before it enters Puget Sound near the site of the region’s first European settlement. Recognized as a “River of Statewide Significance” under the 1972 Washington State Shorelands Management Act, the Nisqually supports extensive salmon runs, timber and agricultural resources, and hydropower generation. It is also home to several threatened and endangered species, offers many recreational opportunities, and provides more than half of the fresh water flow entering southern Puget Sound. From its glacial origin at Mount Rainier to its delta in south Puget Sound, the Nisqually is the hearth of myth, eco-diversity, history, beauty, and fresh water. It is in this watershed that so much coexists -- volcanic steam and watermelon algae, ice worms and elk moss, lady finger ferns and hydroelectric dams, forests young and old, suburban development and feeding heron, soaring eagles and spawning salmon. If the salmon are the Northwest’s canary in the coal mine, then the Nisqually is the mine. It is in this confluence, where glacial melt simultaneously yields electricity for our homes, nutrition to riparian habitat, and fresh water to the delta, that we decide how to be the best steward to our land. We have the tools to define the depth of our commitment to protecting and restoring the Nisqually. We have the information, we have direction, and we have technical support; with that and with every community member working toward that goal, we can conserve and preserve this treasure for ourselves and future generations. ~5~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 5 9/2/2011 3:04:26 PM
  6. 6. The Natural Economy of the Nisqually Watershed The natural environment of the Nisqually Watershed provides goods and services for a bargain and offers a good investment opportunity. Glaciers, forests, streams, wetlands, grasslands, agricultural lands, shorelines, and marine waters provide economically valuable natural goods and ecosystem services. Natural goods include fish, timber, water, and agricultural products. Ecosystem services, the benefits people derive from natural resources, include climate stability, flood protection, storm protection, water purification and supply, wildlife habitat, pollination, soil erosion control, soil formation, nutrient cycling, aesthetics, and recreational value. Earth Economics, a consulting firm in Tacoma, began to apply a value to these good and services in their recent study, The Natural Economy of the Nisqually Watershed. The study initially valued ecosystem services between $287,600,000 and $4,165,990,000 in annual benefits, but it could be as high as $138 billion or more. The range in value reflects a need for more comprehensive studies to assign monetary value to all ecosystem services. This study, therefore, likely underestimates the true economic value derived from the watershed. Ecosystem valuation is an emerging field in economics. There are many combinations of ecosystems types and services. For instance, forests provide flood protection and wildlife habitat, while wetlands provide habitat and drinking water purification. Natural capital, the goods and services derived from natural areas, differs from built capital, buildings, roads, and other human infrastructure. While most natural systems are self-maintaining, all built capital ultimately falls apart (or in technical terms, depreciates). Natural capital, on the other hand, appreciates if kept healthy and intact. Natural capital provides value into the future compared to built capital, thus having greater value over time and comparatively greater asset value in this time. To better guide investment and more effectively protect natural capital, it is necessary to establish economic values for all the services the watershed provides. Watersheds’ goods and services generally have greater value than the sum of the economic assets they contain. Healthy watersheds enable communities and their residents to thrive. In our society, since we do not buy or sell watersheds or their services, we often treat natural capital as having zero economic value. As a result, society has underinvested in watersheds with potentially grave consequences. When free flood protection provided by natural systems is lost, the need to replicate flood protection service arises along with the need to fix any damage. When salmon, drinking water, stormwater conveyance, local climate regulation and other benefits provided by a healthy watershed disappear, the economy suffers from both direct damage and expensive construction costs associated with replacing natural capital. The value of economic benefits provided by the Nisqually Watershed is enormous. With that realization and an understanding that natural systems are vital to the health and development of economies, we are beginning to change how we value our natural assets. It is becoming increasingly clear that the economic health of our community relies on the environmental health of the Nisqually. The loss of nature’s bounty has real economic costs. Safeguarding the health of a watershed, like keeping a house ~6~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 6 9/2/2011 3:04:28 PM
  7. 7. in good condition, provides benefits for everyone who uses it. Watersheds provide goods and services across vast spans of time and well beyond their boundaries. Protecting and restoring the Nisqually Watershed is critical to improving quality of life and to securing sustainability and economic progress in the area. Each of us that live, work and play in the Nisqually Watershed has a role to play in protecting and restoring our watershed community’s long term environmental and economic health. Recreation The Nisqually offers a wide variety of places and a temperate climate that allows for year-round recreation. Types of recreation are almost endless, from scuba diving in the Puget Sound to backpacking at Mount Rainier. Natural park activities such as Northwest Trek and Pack Forest trails offer a variety of activities for nature lovers. Listed below are a few highlights. Mount Rainier National Park and Surrounding Area offers year-round outdoor activities for almost all recreation options, including photography, day hikes, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, river rafting, canoeing, kayaking, boating, camping, and more. Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad offers visitors an opportunity to take a scenic train ride in a vintage locomotive through the foothills of Mount Rainier. Experience the Nisqually as it was explored in a bygone era. The train leaves from Elbe. Ticket and scheduling information available on line at www. or call 1-888-STEAM-11. Alder Lake Recreation offers yearround camping at 173 great locations, options for all types of campers, including an RV site with water, electric and sewer hookups to a traditional tent site. The park is open for camping and day use except from December 20 to January 1. Activities include boating, swimming, fishing for kokanee, trout, bass, crappie, ~7~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 7 9/2/2011 3:04:30 PM
  8. 8. During the waterfowl hunting season, a small portion of the Refuge (those areas adjacent to Fish and Wildlife lands where hunting is permitted) is open for duck and goose hunting. Visit their website at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge protects one of the last relatively undeveloped large estuaries remaining in Puget Sound. Boardwalks, hiking, and birding trails amid this unique blend of freshwater marshes and brackish marine estuary offer activities for everyone and are handicap accessible. A newlyconstructed, mile-long boardwalk trail takes visitors into the restored estuary. Parks provide near-by recreation for daily exercise, ball games, quiet relaxation, and fun with friends and family. Too many to list here, check out the county websites or call for more information. In Pierce County, visit ourorg/parks/parks.htm, or call Pierce County Parks Administration Office at 253-798-4176. In Thurston County, visit, or call the Information Line at 360-754-4371. In Lewis County visit www.lewiscountywa. gov/visitors/parks-recreation. Photo courtesy of Roddy Scheer © Rivers offer good freshwater salmon fishing. Please check with the Department of Fish and Wildlife for fishing licenses, permits, regulations and restrictions – see Nisqually Resources on page 30. The Nisqually River is popular for rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. Make sure you are clear on the put in and take out locations and the average time to travel between them before you set out on your adventure. Photo courtesy of Roddy Scheer © and perch. Power boating, water skiing and personal watercraft are allowed. See Hydro-Power and Multiple Use for more information on page 13 or www.mytpu. org/tacomapower/parks-rec/alder-lakepark/Default.htm. Tideflats of the Sound are open for shellfish harvesting. Contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife for harvesting permits, regulations, and restrictions. Always check to see if beds are privately owned before harvesting. Also, be aware that at times, the Health Department will close beds due to toxins or contaminates in the water or in the shellfish. Contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife – see Nisqually Resources on page 30. Puget Sound is a popular fishing, boating, and scuba diving area. Many residents canoe and kayak in the Sound. ~8~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 8 9/2/2011 3:04:34 PM
  9. 9. Fish The Nisqually River and many of its tributary streams are home to five species of salmon: chinook (kings), coho (silvers), pink (humpies), chum (dog), and steelhead. Once, salmon was abundant throughout the streams in the Eatonville, Yelm, and Roy areas all the way to the mouth of the Nisqually River. The Nisqually Indian Tribe’s fishing villages marked the return of salmon in the fall and winter every year throughout the watershed. Early settlers tell stories of creeks filled with so many salmon that they could walk across the river. Today many of the salmon runs are in decline. Impacted by a hundred years of habitat disruption, overfishing, and poor hatchery practices, there are far fewer salmon returning than there were 100 years ago. Two species of salmon – the chinook and the steelhead – have populations in Puget Sound that are particularly declining, resulting in their listing under the Endangered Species Act, a federal law designed to protect habitat and resources upon which endangered and threatened species depend. Salmon are an anadromous fish, which means they are born in freshwater, live in salt water, and return to fresh water to spawn. Salmon eggs hatch in rivers or streams in clean gravel patches. After a year or more in the freshwater, the young salmon then migrate into Puget Sound and beyond where they live for two to four years before returning to the river to lay their own eggs and die. The listing of Puget Sound salmon on the Endangered Species list ignited a major effort to bring the salmon populations back. Significant changes have been made to reduce harvest pressures, change hatchery practices, and to protect and restore critical habitat. Major restoration projects have been completed recently in the Nisqually Estuary where the Nisqually River runs into Puget Sound, and in the Mashel River and Ohop Creek near Eatonville. Monitoring results indicate that the fish are responding to these restoration projects and are returning to the river. Other habitat projects have taken place in the last few years on Muck, Tanwax, Horn, Powell, Toboton, and Lackamas Creeks. Ideal salmon habitat includes natural streambanks with mature trees and vegetation growing along the banks, clean gravel beds in the stream where salmon can lay their eggs, and deep pools with large fallen woody debris in the creeks to hide, rest, and feed. The streamside forest ecosystems also need the returning salmon. Following their spawning, salmon die and become part of the ecosystem nutrient cycle. Salmon bring back special nutrients from the ocean that benefits plants growing in the area. Fish Resources If you live on or near a stream in the Nisqually Watershed, and would like to find out more about whether you might see salmon in your stream, or about how you can help protect and restore critical salmon habitat, contact the Salmon Recovery Program at the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s Natural Resources Department at 360-456-5221. (See Land Conservancy on page 27 for information on direct government incentive programs for salmon conservation management.) Also contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife – See Nisqually Resources on page 30. ~9~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 9 9/2/2011 3:04:36 PM
  10. 10. Wildlife Washington is home to a wealth of wildlife, many of which share the land that we call home. It is critical that we find ways to live peacefully with our wild neighbors and share the natural resources that we all need to survive. As a resident of the Nisqually Watershed, you may encounter Roosevelt elk and Columbia black-tail deer browsing through your yard; catch a glimpse of smaller mammals such as the bushytailed woodrat, Douglas squirrel, and deer mouse; or see signs from carnivores including coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, and black bear. The watershed is also home to dozens of resident and migratory bird species. From the common chestnut-backed chickadee to the lesser seen Lazuli bunting, wood ducks, and western bluebirds, birds of all shapes and sizes use the land and waters of the watershed. National and state parks, the University of Washington Pack Forest, and areas around Alder Lake offer abundant wildlife habitat. For more information on Alder Lake, see Hydro-Power and Multiple Use on page 13. Wildlife Resources For a complete list of predicted species for your county, visit the “Maps” section of the Washington NatureMapping website at For a list of native plants, visit the Washington Native Plant Society website at To learn more about native landscaping, attracting wildlife, and certifying your backyard wildlife habitat, visit the “Living with Wildlife” section of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website at Get your backyard wildlife habitat officially certified through the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program by visiting gardenforwildlife. For information on bird watching, visit the National Audubon Society, Washington State Resources, guides.htm Photo courtesy of Roddy Scheer © For more information on how to manage your land to enhance wildlife habitat and conserve natural resources, contact your county Conservation District listed in the Nisqually Resources on page 30. Ask about their annual native plant sales. ~ 10 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 10 9/2/2011 3:04:39 PM
  11. 11. Wildlife – Backyard Habitat Photo courtesy of Roddy Scheer © ~ 11 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 11 9/2/2011 3:05:41 PM
  12. 12. Transportation The daily commute to work is one of the greatest contributors to local air pollution and can affect climate change. Reducing the number of trips we make daily using combustion-powered cars and replacing those trips with alternative transportation, such as walking, biking, carpooling, or regional bus service, we can help enhance the quality of life in the Nisqually. Walking and biking also improves your own health. Regional bus service is available in and around the Nisqually Watershed, however, as a primarily rural area, bus service is limited to Yelm and the areas adjacent to Tacoma/Lakewood and the Olympia area. Sound Transit offers service in the watershed’s border areas. There is service from Lakewood and DuPont to Transportation Resources Sound Transit – Pierce Transit – Shuttle Service, 253-984-8216 or 253-581-8100 Intercity Transit – Dial-A-Lift, 360-754-9393 Lewis Mountain Highway Transit – 360-496-5405 or 1-800-994-8899 Ashford to Mt. Rainier Shuttle Bus – shuttle.htm SeaTac or from Lakewood to Tacoma. All Pierce Transit and Sound Transit buses have bike racks and Pierce Transit local bus service may allow bikes on the bus at the driver’s discretion. Pierce Transit has information on vanpools that can help residents of the Nisqually find alternative transportation options to driving alone. Limited Shuttle service is available within the watershed to accommodate people with special needs. Monthly bus passes for Pierce Transit are available online. In Thurston County, the Intercity Transit system offers bus service from Yelm to Olympia. Connecting service is then available from Olympia to Lacey, Lakewood, and Tacoma. Monthly bus passes are available. Schedules and a list of where to purchase passes are listed on their website. Free bike racks are available on all buses and vans. Intercity Transit offers vanpool and carpool assistance. They can help you link up with current vanpools or help you to start your own. Individual vanpoolers save, on average, $6,653/year compared to the cost of driving alone. The average fare for a vanpool is about $65/month. Intercity Transit offers special assistance for people with special needs, including a Community Van program for special trips and the Village Van program to help low-income citizens with work-related or job search transportation needs. See their website for more information. Intercity Transit Route 94 provides hourly service between the Centennial Station in Olympia and Yelm, Monday through Saturday, to conveniently connect Yelm residents to the Amtrak Station in Lacey. Lewis Mountain Highway Transit bus service serves Eastern Lewis County. Lewis Transit runs Monday through Friday and has stops in Packwood, Randle, Glenoma, Morton, Mossyrock, Silver Creek, Salkum, Onalaska, Centralia, and Chehalis. Currently it is the only public transit service that serves Eastern and Central Lewis County. If you want to combine recreation to Mt. Rainier with transportation efficiency, take the free shuttle bus from Ashford into the park at Paradise or Longmire. Summer and weekend scheduled runs only, see their website listed under Resources. If you must drive, keeping your tires filled properly and driving using optimal settings for fuel efficiency will help to get the most mileage from your vehicle. Properly maintained engines will further reduce damaging emissions from the car and reduce some of the pollution caused by combustion powered vehicles. ~ 12 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 12 9/2/2011 3:05:41 PM
  13. 13. Hydro-Power and Multiple Use Hydroelectric power is a renewable resource that generates electricity without burning fossil fuels or polluting the air. In the Nisqually, Tacoma Power oversees two dam projects that generate almost 600 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year, enough to serve over 40,000 homes. The projects also support major wildlife and fisheries programs, and provide excellent outdoor recreation facilities. Tacoma Power ensures that the Nisqually River Project provides energy resources and multiple recreation, fishing, hunting, and sight-seeing opportunities. Centralia City Light also has a diversion dam on the Nisqually River above McKenna that diverts water into a canal running next to the river for 9 miles before dropping into a powerhouse and back to the river below Yelm. Nisqually River Project Supports Multiple Uses Tacoma Power’s Nisqually River Project consists of Alder and LaGrande hydroelectric dams, two reservoirs, and thousands of acres of wildlife land surrounding Alder Lake. Before LaGrande and Alder dams were built, a natural waterfall in the canyon, which is now beneath LaGrande reservoir, probably prevented fish from migrating upstream. Providing adult fish passage past the dams is not being considered at this time. Hydro-Power and Multiple Use Resources Individual campsite reservations may be made online at or by calling 1-888-CAMPOUT. Call Tacoma Power’s fish and recreation line toll free at 1-888-502-8690 to hear recorded information about river flows, lake levels, boat launches, and parks. The information is updated regularly. Alder Lake Recreation – Alder Lake is formed by Tacoma Power’s Alder Dam, which generates renewable power. Get a great view of the dam from the park, or see the dam from a lookout on Highway 7. With its four distinctive camping areas and great location, Alder Lake Park is a nearby getaway. See page 7 for more Recreation information on Alder Lake. Launch your boat (lake level permitting) for no charge at the Alder Lake Park boat launch or at Rocky Point, which is about 4 miles south on Highway 7 from the main park entrance. Visitors can fish for kokanee, trout, bass, crappie, and perch in the lake. Power boating, water skiing, and personal watercraft are also allowed. A day-use area inside the park provides the opportunity to swim or play all day. A parking fee is charged on weekends and holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. There is a free day-use area and swimming beach a half-mile away at Sunny Beach Point. To provide fishing opportunities, Tacoma Power stocks approximately 250,000 kokanee or landlocked sockeye salmon in Alder Lake each year. Furthermore, water released from LaGrande Dam enhances the habitat for the chinook and coho salmon that spawn downstream of the LaGrande Dam. Most of the Alder Lake shoreline is owned by Tacoma Power, and campfires are not allowed there. If you live near the lake, be aware that docks and other structures must be permitted by several agencies, including Tacoma Power. You may notice that Alder Lake is lower in the winter. This assists in catching water runoff from the upper basin. The lake, however, is too small to control flooding, which may occur downstream. ~ 13 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 13 9/2/2011 3:05:42 PM
  14. 14. Natural Hazards Sweeping down from the 14,410-foot summit of Mount Rainier, the Nisqually Watershed drains 517 square miles in western Washington, emptying into the Puget Sound at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The Nisqually River originates at 4,800 feet as melt water from the Nisqually Glacier. During its 78-mile course, it flows through steep, glacial canyons before containment at Alder Lake for hydroelectricity generation by the Alder and LaGrande Dams (see HydroPower and Multiple Use on page 13. The Nisqually has 12 major tributaries and flows past Yelm, McKenna, Elbe, and Ashford. Volcanic Activity The Nisqually Watershed is shaped by numerous forces, but a majority of its form and function is determined by its volcanic source. Mount Rainier is an active volcano and has dramatically influenced the neighboring landscape. Mount Rainier has a veritable palate of volcanic hazards, including volcanic eruption, ash flows, lava flows, pyroclastic flows (fast moving avalanche of hot lava), and lahars (landslide or mudflow of volcanic debris). Volcanic eruptions at Mount Rainier are sporadic, but other geologic hazards occur more frequently. Lahars and debris flows are one of the major short-term hazards from Mount Rainier. They are fast-moving liquefied landslides that look and act like wet concrete and carry enormous amounts of material ranging from clay to colossal boulders and trees. Debris flows and lahars can be triggered by intense rainfall, glacial melt, or volcanic activity, though, lahars are larger and can extend out of the park. An example is the Osceola Mudflow, which occurred in the White River valley some 5,600 years ago. It flowed all the way to the Puget Sound near the town of Auburn, obliterating and burying nearly everything in its path under a thick blanket of muddy debris. ~ 14 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 14 9/2/2011 3:05:45 PM
  15. 15. Flooding The Nisqually River is a fascinating natural feature affecting a large geographic area. Hazards from flooding and debris flows are a natural part of our watershed. Flooding results from a combination of excess water and excess sediment in river beds and is a result of large storm events or glacial melts. Sediment from erosion is continuously transported downstream by rivers. Large sediment loads cause the river beds to fill and subsequently rise. Adding excess water to the system causes rivers to rise. Floodplains, the flat areas beside rivers, naturally hold overflow, but as channels fill to capacity, the floodplains can be overwhelmed. Unfortunately, roads and towns are often built on floodplains. Major floods during the 1990s and in 2006 have dramatically altered the river and near-river landscape in many areas of the Nisqually. In November 2009, Mount Rainier National Park had severe infrastructure damage due to record flooding. The watershed as a whole saw major changes, including damage to levees, housing, and roads outside of the park. The Nisqually River is a sensitive natural system subject to disturbance and has the ability to affect thousands of people. It is significant to the Nisqually Indian Tribe and provides important services to people, providing fresh drinking water, recreation, and hydroelectricity, as well as excellent aquatic habitat. Human influences on flooding can be minimized through stewardship and sustainable land use choices. Natural Hazards Resources Pierce, Thurston, and Lewis Counties provide online information to help residents with natural hazards, including flooding, earthquakes, and winter storms. The sites also provide information on additional protection services. Pierce County Department of Emergency Management ourorg/dem/pubed.htm Thurston County Lewis County Emergency Management Mt. Rainier Seismicity Information html Volcano Hazard Map ~ 15 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 15 9/2/2011 3:05:49 PM
  16. 16. Building and Development The Nisqually Watershed is expected to receive unprecedented growth in the next few years. Home and property buyers in the watershed can help alleviate unintended negative impacts from development by doing their homework on the natural resources on their land, and using appropriate and sustainable land-use options to build their dream home. Informed choices can protect property owners from personal property damage and protect the people, plants, fish, and wildlife of the Nisqually Watershed. Do Your Homework Pierce, Thurston, and Lewis Counties provide a wealth of information about land parcels, including zoning, critical areas, watershed boundaries, and even school districts, on their websites, see the Resources Box. While the maps are not 100 percent accurate for every parcel, they provide comprehensive information for residents interested in learning more about their land and how it is designated. Homeowners and builders should research the flooding hazard areas that are identified. These hazard areas can include high ground water areas, Building and Development Resources Thurston County Green Building climate/climate-grnbld.html builtgreen Thurston County Geo-Data Thurston County Building Permit Services Thurston County Stormwater Lewis County Green Building Lewis County Public Works Stormwater and Utilities Many of the high ground water areas in the Nisqually Watershed are also critical aquifer recharge areas that supply drinking water to residential and municipal users. Critical aquifer recharge areas are further protected through additional regulations. The major high ground water flooding areas identified by Thurston County in the Nisqually Watershed include the Yelm Creek and Thompson Creek sub-watersheds. After the property is acquired and preparations to build a home are underway, there are still more ways to reduce the impact of development on the watershed. Environmentally, Photo courtesy of Roddy Scheer © Pierce County Geo-Data Pierce County Green Building Pierce County Building Permit Services property/pals/palsmain.htm Pierce County Stormwater and Utilities Department pwu/about/stormfloodmenu.htm Lewis County Geo-Data maplib_index.html Lewis County Community Development Building Permit Services adjacent wetland areas, and floodplain areas. Maps may not completely identify all areas for every parcel, but they do provide general guidance for property owners researching flooding issues. High ground water areas are identified and protected through land-use planning and zoning regulations. ~ 16 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 16 9/2/2011 3:05:51 PM
  17. 17. development and construction practices are primary contributors to the depletion of natural resources, and a major contributor of unwanted side effects, such as air and water pollution, solid waste generation, deforestation, toxic wastes and health hazards, global warming, as well as other negative consequences. County websites provide homeowners and builders information on building “green” or sustainability to reduce their development impact in the Nisqually Watershed. The Counties offer useful and informative websites about permits and technical assistance for sustainable land development strategies. They have many resources available to Nisqually residents. Their Surface and Stormwater utilities provide many services from flooding technical assistance to education and outreach. For more information on stormwater management see Stormwater and Low Impact Development, page 20. Water Resources Environmental Protection Agency Washington State Department of Ecology, Water Resources 360-407-6872 or programs/wr/wrhome.html Water Using Water and Drinking Water Quality While water is plentiful in the Nisqually Watershed, the rights to use water are strictly regulated, especially for our potable (drinkable) resources. A water right is a legal authorization to use a certain amount of water for specific purposes. Washington State law requires certain users of public water to obtain approval from the State prior to actual use of the water. Approval is granted in the form of a water right permit or certificate. A surface water right is necessary for those planning to divert any amount of water from surface waters (water above ground). Surface water sources include lakes, rivers, streams, and springs. Surface water rights are extremely difficult to obtain because of potential conflicts with other resources, such as fish. Non-consumptive water right applications or applications that contain mitigation (actions that reduce the impact) proposals stand the best chance of approval. Contact the Washington State Department of Ecology using the information listed in the Water Resources. A ground water permit is necessary for the withdrawal of more than 5,000 gallons per day or if you plan to irrigate more than a half acre of lawn or noncommercial garden. If you use less than those amounts, you may have an “exempt well.” This means you would be exempt from the permitting process, but not the regulatory process. Surface water quantity is regulated under Chapter 90.03 RCW, the Water Code. Ground water is regulated by Chapter 90.44 RCW, Regulation of Public Ground Waters. These can be found using the quick reference tool on the legislature’s website at LawsAndAgencyRules. Rural landowners in Thurston, Pierce, and Lewis County generally depend on a well for their drinking water. Wells are direct conduits from aquifers (underground water supply). Wells have the potential to be contaminated if precautions are not taken to protect the health of upstream riparian (river bank) areas. ~ 17 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 17 9/2/2011 3:05:52 PM
  18. 18. Riparian and Wetland Management Do you have a stream or wetland on your property? A Riparian area or zone is the interface between the land, such as your property, and a river, stream, or wetland. There are many different plants and animals that depend on healthy streams and wetlands for habitat. How you manage the streams and wetlands on your property can have an impact on local water quality and flooding frequencies. Be a good neighbor and make sure that you manage the streams and wetlands on your property so that you do not cause problems for your downstream neighbors or local wildlife. In the Nisqually Watershed, many of our local streams are salmon streams. Salmon populations are struggling right now in the Nisqually Watershed and throughout Puget Sound. In fact, both Nisqually chinook salmon and Nisqually Riparian and Wetland Management Resources For free advice on how you can manage your stream or wetland, or to find out about local sources of native plants to restore your stream or wetland, you can contact your local Conservation District; see Nisqually Resources, page 30. Nisqually Indian Tribe’s Natural Resources Department - 360-456-5221 steelhead are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Puget Sound orcas are also listed as an endangered species; their primary food source is salmon. You can help the salmon and the orcas through appropriate stewardship of the streams and wetlands in your own backyard. Even if you haven’t seen salmon in your part of the stream, how you manage your stream affects the quality of habitat downstream where the salmon are present annually. Streamside and wetland plants are a critical component of keeping your streams and wetlands healthy. Trees and shrubs that are native to this area can help streams and wetlands in a number of different ways. Mature trees and shrubs along stream banks or in a wetland help slow the flow of rainwater and filter runoff. This helps reduce flooding and maintain clean water. Large shade trees help keep water temperatures cool for fish. The shade also helps keep invasive grasses from growing in the stream, which, if not monitored, can choke the stream and cause increased flooding. deeper pools for small fish to hide in or create sorted gravel patches for fish to lay their eggs. The wood also provides a good hiding place for fish, as well as food for stream insects that the fish then eat. Preserving the natural state of the stream or wetland and being careful not to physically alter the stream or wetland is another way you can help take care of the Nisqually Watershed. Actions like placing large rocks along the stream bank, making the stream channel or wetland deeper, or allowing cows or horses to access the stream or wetland can be very damaging to the health of the stream or wetland. There are many new innovations for managing streams and wetlands that can address landowner concerns about potential bank erosion, flooding, or livestock watering needs and also minimize or prevent damaging effects. Contact your local Conservation District for ideas. Plant roots help stabilize stream banks and wetland soils to prevent erosion. Healthy native plants are critical food sources for stream bugs, which are then eaten by fish and other aquatic animals. Trees that fall into a stream also create valuable fish habitat in the stream. Water swirling around the wood can scour out ~ 18 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 18 9/2/2011 3:05:53 PM
  19. 19. Noxious Weeds A noxious weed is a non-native, invasive plant considered to be detrimental to public health, agriculture, water resources, wildlife, or property and is known to destroy habitat for other species or cause serious agricultural problems. An annual list, published by the state Noxious Weed Control Board, inventories the level of threat posed by the plants and the legal responsibilities of owners who find them growing on their properties. Individual counties may modify the list to fit local circumstances. Prospective land buyers are strongly advised to carefully inspect the property to determine whether there are any problems. When a weed-infested site is purchased, the responsibility for those weeds, and their control, which can be expensive and legally binding, falls solely on the new owner. Enforcement and also potential property liens are within the jurisdiction of the Weed Control Board (see Resources). They will work with property owners to identify and eradicate noxious weeds. So, if you suspect your property has noxious weeds, don’t wait; contact the Control Board before the weeds have a chance to spread. Thurston Conservation District also lists pasture weeds that are poisonous to everyone, those that are poisonous to animals, and those that are invasive. See their website or call for more information. Noxious Weeds Resources Contact the Conservation Districts in Pierce, Thurston, and Lewis counties; see Nisqually Resources on page 30. Pierce County Noxious Weed Control Board 253-798-7263, Thurston County Noxious Weed Control Agency 360 786-5576, tcweeds/index.htm Lewis County Noxious Weed Control Board 360-740-1215, Noxious weeds of primary concern in Pierce County Japanese Knotweed, Tansy Ragwort, Knapweed Complex, Poison Hemlock, Gorse, Purple Loosestrife, and Dalmatian Toadflax. Noxious weeds of primary concern in Thurston County Knotweed varieties, Butterfly Bush, Common Fennel, Poison Hemlock, Gorse, Giant Hogweed, Yellow Starthistle, Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy, and Scotch Broom. Noxious weeds of primary concern in Lewis County Meadow Knapweed, Purple Loosestrife, Brazilian Elodea, Eurasian Watermilfoil, Tansy Ragwort, Butterfly Bush, Scotch Broom, Knotweed varieties, and Poison Hemlock. ~ 19 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 19 9/2/2011 3:05:59 PM
  20. 20. Stormwater and Low Impact Development The threat of flooding is a concern for parts of the Nisqually Community almost every year, bringing with it danger to human life, habitat, and potential loss of expensive infrastructure. Pierce, Thurston, and Lewis counties are working on floodplain acquisition, setback levees, and sensitive area regulations to help alleviate this growing problem. These are great steps; yet it appears that traditional stormwater management will not be enough to avoid more potential flooding. Out-dated stormwater management techniques from the 1970’s, such as retention ponds, underground vaults, and conveyance pipes, do not allow water to naturally infiltrate into the soil where the water falls. Although these capture techniques act to slow stormwater run off, the water has to go somewhere. During storm events, our existing hydrologic system consisting of the rivers, lakes, ditches, ponds, vaults, and conveyance pipes become full. Unable to handle any more excess water, the systems overflow. Overflows impact our precious aquatic habitats, which cannot withstand the sediment-laden runoff associated with stormwater (see Riparian and Wetland Management, page 18). The decades-old process of converting farmlands, forests, and pasturelands into impermeable rooftops and asphalt has ultimately made things even worse. The lack of water infiltrating into the ground due to the increase of impervious surfaces, places greater demand on our over-burdened traditional conveyance systems. The inevitable consequence is increased flooding. As more and more developers and property owners come into our area, flooding will increase. We must recognize this problem and acknowledge that there has to be a balance, and that choices must be made to support our watershed. Resources for Stormwater and Low Impact Development For information on Low Impact Development, contact Puget Sound Partnership – WSU Low Impact Development Program lid/index.html Environmental Protection Agency, Low Impact Development What are our options? Economic growth and development fuel our region’s healthy economy, yet protecting human safety and natural resources is also important. The rain is not going away, and neither is development. How can we manage overabundant rainfall events and still have healthy growth? A new, multifaceted approach to land and water management, Low Impact Development or LID, has many civil engineers, developers, and municipalities very excited. Not only does LID make good business sense, it helps prevent flooding while acting to preserve and clean the stormwater. For many people, LID is a fairly new concept. It has, however, been used successfully for decades across the country and is now catching on in Puget Sound. Most importantly, it is not designed to hamper development but to enhance development; LID is, in fact, a balanced approach that is ecologicallysound and builder-friendly. Pierce County Stormwater and Utilities Department – stormfloodmenu.htm Thurston County Stormwater For information on Rain Gardens, contact Stewardship Partners – 206-292-9875, Rain garden captures stormwater in the Nisqually ~ 20 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 20 9/2/2011 3:06:00 PM
  21. 21. The Low Impact Development strategy is two-fold: these swales also add unique beauty to any landscape (see photo on page 20). First, preserve and mimic the natural hydrologic systems of the site. The newest industry innovations and techniques allow roads and parking lots to be designed using permeable concrete, asphalt, and pavers that let water pass through the road surface. The pervious engineered roadway performs like regular impervious pavement, while allowing stormwater to infiltrate and be filtered rather than driving the water to a traditional conveyance system with its associated overflow problems. Second, allow the water to infiltrate instead of collecting, conveying, or concentrating stormwater. LID is used to naturally disburse water into open, vegetated areas while retaining native plants, and LID techniques can also help to manage roof and driveway runoff on individual lots. Many counties have mandated the use of LID techniques due to environmental concerns. LID uses a series of small-scale smart engineering techniques to process water locally. LID engineers follow the natural hydrology of the site. They try not to force the site into something that it is not (i.e., use of intensive grading or redirecting stormwater), and avoid actions that compact the ground in order to allow rainwater to naturally infiltrate. Skilled engineering will direct stormwater through sponge-like engineered or amended soils while leaving pockets of natural vegetation. Other examples of LID techniques include rain gardens and Bio-Retention ponds, precisely planted depressions that allow rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces the opportunity to be absorbed on the site where the rain falls. In addition to treating and absorbing water; ~ 21 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 21 9/2/2011 3:06:07 PM
  22. 22. Forestry The Nisqually hosts some of the most diverse forest types of any watershed in Washington, from alder and cottonwood dominated floodplains to oak savannah to the majestic old growth cedar and Douglas-fir forests on the slopes of Mount Rainier. Humans have managed the forests in the watershed for thousands of years. The original inhabitants, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, manipulated forest cover to enhance berry production and selectively thinned timber for making boats and building materials. Commercial logging began in the 1850’s and at one time the watershed was home to dozens of lumber mills. The forests on and near your land are a product of both ecological variables and periodic human management. Knowing where your land fits into this landscape and “when” it occurs in the ecological succession of the forest will help you be a better steward and a better neighbor. Knowing where your boundary lines and corners are will help avoid potential conflicts with neighbors. You can obtain the legal description and a wealth of Forestry Resources Pierce County Assessor – Thurston County Assessor Lewis County Assessor Washington Department of Natural Resources Small Forest Landowner Office Topics/SmallForestLandownerOffice/ Pages/fp_sflo_overview.aspx Natural Resource Conservation Service Contact the Conservation Districts in Pierce, Thurston, and Lewis counties; see Nisqually Resources on page 30. Consulting Foresters Directory forestry/consultingdirectory.htm Small-scale Saw Mill Directory sawmill/index.htm Northwest Certified Forestry Northwest Natural Resource Group information about your property at your County Assessor’s Office (see Forestry Resources). There you can obtain aerial photos of forest cover in your area and maps of streams, wetlands, and other sensitive ecological sites. It is important to correctly identify these sites on your land as county ordinances and state regulations may restrict building and forest management activities associated with them. A variety of local, state, and federal agencies can provide free on-site assistance to help you evaluate your forest resources in order to optimize the productive potential of your land. These agencies include Conservation Districts (see Nisqually Resources on page 30), the Washington Department of Natural Resources Small Forest Landowner Office, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Many of these agencies also have financial assistance programs that can help pay for enhancing wildlife habitat, improving timber quality, repairing forest roads, and determining how to maximize ~ 22 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 22 9/2/2011 3:06:10 PM
  23. 23. a diversity of forest products. See Land Conservancy, pages 28-29, for a list of programs. You very likely share common forest types with your neighbors, and may even have common management objectives. Collaborating with adjacent landowners on timber harvesting, tree planting, road maintenance, and other activities can help reduce costs and improve the overall character and quality of forests in your neighborhood. A professional consulting forester can help you develop a long-term timber management plan, coordinate with local logging contractors, and ensure you receive the value for your timber, see Forestry Resources. lumber either by hiring a portable saw mill, working with local companies that will harvest your wood on site, or by investing in small-scale wood manufacturing equipment. By producing your own lumber for personal use or for sale, you can often obtain far more value from your timber than by simply selling logs to a conventional mill. Small woodland owner organizations, such as Northwest Certified Forestry, help landowners learn how to optimize their forest resources through workshops, on-site consultations, and by providing marketing assistance (see Nisqually Resources on page 30). The Nisqually Watershed has a rich history of forest stewardship. You can be a part of this legacy by being the best steward possible of your own land! Agriculture Agriculture has long been an important part of the economy of the Nisqually. Historically, the watershed has supported dairies, berries, row crops, and Christmas tree farms. Currently, the watershed is home to the largest egg production in the state. Local agriculture contributes to the sustainability of the region by providing fresh, local, and healthy food products. Improperly managed farms can be major contributors to non-point source pollution: water pollution that does not originate from an individual pipe or source, but instead is picked up as rainfall runoff flows across the land and other portions of the built environment. Non-point pollution includes fertilizers, herbicides, animal waste, oil, and exposed sediments. Photo courtesy of Roddy Scheer © Many small woodland owners are selectively thinning their forests themselves with small-scale equipment such as tractors, all-terrain vehicles, and log arches. Some are going a step further and producing their own ~ 23 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 23 9/2/2011 3:06:13 PM
  24. 24. Through conservation planning and implementation of a farm management plan, landowners can reduce environmental impacts and increase farm production. Local Conservation Districts retain technicians and specialists who can help you develop and implement your conservation plan. Your plan is custom-made for you and your property. It can be modified as your plans or circumstances change. Developing your plan is simple. Choose what is important to you, what you want to avoid, and what you want from your land. Know what is on your property, including property boundaries, septic fields, fences, arenas, corrals, bare ground, buildings, lawn, garden, cropland roads, driveways, paths, trees and shrubs, neighboring land usage, areas of weed infestations, wells, streams, ponds, and wetlands. Using these factors, along with aerial maps, soil maps, and other resources, a Resource Specialist from the Conservation District can assist you in developing a plan tailored to your farm. The plan will include an inventory of the soils, water (drainages and wetlands), plants, and animals. Factors unique to your property will be included. These professionals can recommend alternatives. Together, you determine your plan of action and a timeline for completion. In certain cases, financial assistance is available to help cover the costs of implementation (see pages 28-29). Working with one of the Conservation Districts, you can rest assured that you are in compliance with your county’s nonpoint pollution source ordinances and other regulations. In addition to traditional farm planning, water quality, and habitat restoration activities, Pierce Conservation District also has an Agricultural Assistance Program.  The Agricultural Assistance Program focuses on helping local farmers connect with the tools they need to be more profitable, building local markets for their products, connecting consumers with local food and farmers, and helping with farmland preservation efforts. Another conservation program that connects landowners with land management funds and tools, while providing a market opportunity, is the Stewardship Partners’ Salmon-Safe Program. ~ 24 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 24 9/2/2011 3:06:22 PM
  25. 25. Salmon-Safe is a third-party certification program that uses professional inspectors with experience in both salmon habitat and sustainable agriculture. The evaluations are based on a thorough set of guidelines developed by scientists and farmers. The Salmon-Safe label provides credibility, exposure, and marketing opportunities for participating farms. If you are interested in assessment standards or becoming SalmonSafe certified, visit Resources for Livestock Management USDA Mobile Meat Processing Unit – Operated by the Puget Sound Meat Producers Cooperative, the Mobile Meat Processing Unit is available for on-farm slaughter and transportation of carcasses to a cooperative cut and wrap facility. Small-scale Poultry Processing Equipment Rental – For a reasonable rental fee and cleaning deposit, small-scale poultry processing equipment is available to rent from local Conservation Districts. Occasional workshops provide instruction on safe and efficient use of the machinery. Visit their websites for information on their equipment rental program. or Horses for Clean Water – Backcountry Horsemen of Washington – Nisqually Chapter, 360-894-7652 or University of Washington Pack Forest – Sahara Trails – Elbe Hills Nicholson Horse Trails Contact the Conservation Districts in Pierce, Thurston, and Lewis counties; see Nisqually Resources on page 30. Livestock Management In addition to the usual species, such as horses, sheep, cattle, and poultry, you can also find bison, alpaca, and other exotic animals in the Nisqually. The main challenges facing livestock owners and producers in our region are mud, manure, and pasture management. Resources and technical assistance are available for livestock management, health, housing, pasturage, and other information. A good pasture management program will enhance your animal’s health, improve your pasture production and health, and lower feed costs. Pasture partitioning and rotational grazing will help keep your pastures as productive and healthy as possible. Your program should include a plan to keep clean water clean, minimize mud, manage weeds, prevent overgrazing, and reduce soil compaction. Rotational grazing allows plants to recover from grazing before being grazed again and provides maximum forage so animals are not forced to ingest potentially toxic plant materials (see Noxious Weeds, page 19). Local veterinarians are an excellent source of information, as are the Conservation Districts, who can also help define local laws and county codes that may restrict the type or number of animals that can be kept on a property. Conservation Districts can also provide technical assistance, help with plan development, and provide contacts for direct financial incentive programs (see pages 28-29). They can provide information about creating a successful grazing program, composting and using manure, managing mud, and how to best protect the natural resources on and around your property. They can also help determine appropriate feed requirements, and how to produce much of the needed feed on your own land. ~ 25 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 25 9/2/2011 3:06:22 PM
  26. 26. A well-managed livestock property looks attractive, protects natural resources, and improves animal health. It is imperative that prospective livestock owners understand the cost and care needs of specific animal species before bringing them home. All livestock need a daily source of clean, fresh water and most require supplemental minerals and salt. Provisions for these needs should be included in the landowner’s planning. Likewise, careful consideration should be taken to establish or re-configure pastures and livestock keeping areas in order to protect natural resources. Horses – The horse industry is thriving in the Nisqually. Many people own, breed, and sell horses, as well as recreate and compete with them. People purchasing horses for the first time will benefit from seeking the advice of competent horsemen as well as veterinarians. Good pasture management can provide your horses with grazing throughout most of the year, although many smaller properties will need to provide supplemental feed, such as hay and grain during the times when grasses are not actively growing – including the hottest parts of summer and during the winter. All riders and drivers need to be alert and considerate when traveling on county roads. A rider is considered a pedestrian. Safety for both the horseman and motorists should be of the highest priority when on public roads. The Nisqually offers several great places to trailride with horses, including the University of Washington’s Pack Forest, the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ Sahara Horse Camp, and Elbe Hills Nicholson Horse Trails. The Nisqually chapter of Backcountry Horsemen is very active and a great resource (see Livestock Management Resources on page 25). Cattle – Beef cattle are in important part of the rural landscape in the Nisqually. Some landowners have breeding cattle and sell the offspring every year. Others run yearlings or ‘stocker’ cattle as a way of harvesting pasture grasses during the growing season. Due to our wet weather, livestock need to be confined in well-surfaced holding areas during the rainy season. Grazing saturated pastures with dormant forage species will cause damage to your pastures, requiring years to correct. Appropriate “sacrifice areas,” portions of the property set aside as winter confinement areas, are an essential component of a successful pasture management strategy. Poultry – Commercial poultry operations producing both eggs and fryer chickens are present in the Nisqually. These, often fairly large industrial sites, have significant traffic associated with them. Trucks hauling feed to the sites, and removing eggs, birds, and manure from the sites are often on the road late at night or early in the morning. Backyard and small-scale poultry set ups are also very common throughout the watershed and offer private households the opportunity to produce fresh, healthy food at home. ~ 26 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 26 9/2/2011 3:06:24 PM
  27. 27. Land Conservancy Productive farmland, ranchland, forests, wetlands, and coastlines provide important natural benefits and contribute to a healthy, diverse, and dynamic watershed. In the face of a growing population and a changing economic base, undeveloped lands provide substantial community benefits, clean air and water, fresh food, habitat restoration and recovery, stormwater management, and sheer scenic beauty. Landowners who value these gifts have options and incentives to preserve their land and their deep connection to it. Donating or selling a voluntary conservation agreement, also known as a conservation or agricultural easement or restriction, is the most traditional tool for conserving private land. These agreements can be one of the smartest ways to conserve your land, preserve it for your family and for future generations, and protect the Nisqually Watershed’s natural heritage. Citizens taking advantage of available financial and planning assistance help make important contributions to the vitality and health of our communities. A legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency, these agreements permanently limit Land Conservancy Resources Nisqually Land Trust – 360-489-3400 or Land Trust Alliance – Farm Services Agency – WA Conservation Commission – Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 509-323-2971 or uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. These sustainable land use strategies preserve natural areas while allowing landowners continued ownership and use of their land, including the right to sell it or pass it on to heirs. Easements can also help landowners realize added income or significant federal tax benefits and have the potential to reduce real estate taxes. Steps to conserve your land ~ 27 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 27 9/2/2011 3:06:28 PM
  28. 28. Government Programs The federal government provides a suite of programs that provide direct payments to farm and forest owners for conservation practices. Administered by agencies, including the Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Washington State Conservation Commission, and the Farm Services Agency (FSA), these programs are collectively funded at more than $100 million per year in Washington State. They support hundreds of projects annually. Many Farm Bill programs focus on taking land out of production (via long-term leases) and providing cost-share funding to restoration projects for high priority sites. Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) provides incentives to restore and improve salmon and steelhead habitat on private land. Land is removed from production and grazing under 10- or 15-year contracts. In return, landowners plant trees and shrubs to stabilize the stream bank and provide other ecological functions, such as creating shade to lower water temperature, providing large woody debris to create ponds, reducing sediment, reducing chemicals and nutrients, and increasing biodiversity. Landowners receive annual rental payment, incentive and maintenance payments, and cost-share for practice installations. Cost-share is available for the installation of a riparian buffer (trees, shrubs, plantings), fencing, and animal watering stations. Payments can result in no cost to the landowner for participation. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is designed to protect environmentally sensitive farmland from erosion, improve water quality, reduce surplus farm commodities, and improve wildlife habitat. Programs provide cost-sharing to establish protective cover. Annual rental payments are made to retire land from agricultural production for a period of 10 to 15 years. The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, USDA partners with governments and organizations to acquire conservation easements or other interests in land from landowners. USDA provides up to 50 percent of the fair market easement value of the conservation easement. The Grassland Reserve Program is designed to restore and protect grassland, including rangeland and pasture. The program emphasizes support for grazing operations, plant and animal diversity, and areas under the greatest threat of conversion to cropland or urban use. Program provides cost-share funds to restore high priority native grasslands. Assistance provided to develop plan objectives, practices, and requirements to maintain grassland diversity. Easements may be permanent or for 30 years. The Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) assists landowners in restoring, enhancing, and protecting forestland resources on private lands through easements, 30-year contracts, and 10-year cost-share agreements. The goal is to restore, enhance, or provide measureable increase in the likelihood of recovery of a threatened or endangered species. Projects must improve biodiversity or increase carbon sequestration (removing carbon from the air to help minimize climate change). The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) offers agricultural landowners an opportunity to receive payments for restoring and protecting high priority wetlands. WRP provides costshare funds for wetland restoration and up to the agricultural value of the land for granting the government a conservation easement. Easements may be perpetual or for 30 years. Technical assistance is also provided to develop plans. ~ 28 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 28 9/2/2011 3:06:29 PM
  29. 29. Other Government Direct Financial Incentives The Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) provides grants to local and regional citizen groups to develop plans to protect and restore salmon habitat. For more information, contact the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s Salmon Recovery Program at 360-4565221. For information on the statewide process, go to The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program provides grants for the acquisition and development of local and state parks, water access sites, trails, critical wildlife habitat, natural areas, and urban wildlife habitat. Also provides funding for farmland and riparian area protection. Find out more at www. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers several programs for habitat conservation of endangered species. The Western Washington office supplies a fact sheet on available grants. The U.S. Forest Service provides technical and financial assistance to state and private forest owners to encourage good stewardship and land management on forest and grasslands. USFS and Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) administer the following programs: The Forest Land Enhancement Program provides education, on-site advice, and cost-share assistance to help non-industrial private forest landowners develop Forest Stewardship Plans and implement a variety of forest stewardship practices on their lands, ConservationTransactions/Pages/forest_legacy.aspx. The Forest Stewardship Program is a national program designed to assist non-industrial private forest landowners in managing their properties for a variety of resource values. The program offers advice and assistance to landowners with over 5 acres to help improve forests for timber production, forest health, wildlife and fish habitat, special forest products, water quality, aesthetics, and fire safety. Customized advice can meet the landowner’s personal objectives. ~ 29 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 29 9/2/2011 3:06:43 PM
  30. 30. Nisqually Resources County Government Pierce County – Thurston County – Lewis County – Conservation Districts Washington State Conservation Districts Conservation-Districts Pierce Conservation District 253-845-9770, Thurston Conservation District 360-754-3588, Lewis Conservation District 360-748-0083, Health Departments Pierce County Public Health Department PH_index.htm Thurston County Public Health Department, health/ehadm/index.html Lewis County Public Health Agency Fire and Safety Overall Rural Living Resources Pierce County – pc/Abtus/ourorg/dem/fireprev.htm Rural Living in Thurston County Thurston County – Living in Pierce County – Lewis County – www.lewiscountywa. gov/communitydevelopment/buildingfire-safety Northwest Trek Experience captivating Northwest wildlife. Exciting wildlife encounters happen every day at Northwest Trek. Washington State Department of Ecology or use www.ecy. for a list of services, departments, and other contact information. Land and Water Department of Fish and Wildlife 360-902-2234, or Shorelands Management Act st_guide/jurisdiction/index.html Washington Forest Protection Association Forest and Fish Law, 1999 collaborative effort of federal, state, tribal, and county governments and private forest landowners. Designed to protect our native fish and aquatic species. Helpful introductory videos. Good Neighbor Handbook Partners Nisqually River Council / Nisqually River Foundation 12501 Yelm Highway SE Olympia, WA 98513 360-438-8715, Nisqually Land Trust 100 Brown Farm Road NE Olympia, WA 98516 360-489-3400, Nisqually Indian Tribe 4820 She-Nah-Num Drive Olympia, WA 98513 360-456-5221, Stewardship Partners 1411 - 4th Avenue, Suite 1425, Seattle, WA 98101 206-292-9875 ~ 30 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 30 9/2/2011 3:06:43 PM
  31. 31. Author Acknowledgements The Natural Economy of the Nisqually Watershed - Abstract of Executive Summary provided by Earth Economics, editors David Batker, Isabel de la Torre, Maya Kocian, Briana Lovell, p.5-7 This study was conducted with the support of Washington Department of Ecology grant #G0800012 (Nisqually River Council Watershed Initiative Program), the Nisqually River Foundation and the Puget Sound Partnership. Water - Publication Editor, Cate O’dahl, ESP Services, and George Walker, Nisqually Indian Tribe Natural Resources Department, Riparian and Wetland Management Salmon Recovery Program Manager, Jeanette Dorner, Nisqually Indian Tribe Natural Resources Department, Recreation - Publication Editor, Cate O’dahl, ESP Services, Noxious Weeds - Publication Editor, Cate O’dahl, ESP Services, Fish - Salmon Recovery Program Manager, Jeanette Dorner, Nisqually Indian Tribe Natural Resources Department, Stormwater and Low Impact Development Principal Engineer, Damon DeRosa, PE, Leroy Surveyors and Engineers, Damon@ Wildlife contributors - Publication Editor, Cate O’dahl, ESP Services, caoesp@, Backyard Habitat, Education Program Coordinator Jessica Moore, Northwest Trek, Forestry - Washington Director Northwest Certified Forestry, Kirk Hanson, Northwest Natural Resource Group,, Transportation - Publication Editor, Cate O’dahl, ESP Services, Hydro-Power and Multiple Use Wildlife & Recreation Coordinator, Pam Hefley, Tacoma Power Natural Hazards - Park Geologist, Scott Beason, and Geomorphology Technician, Laura Walkup,, Mount Rainier National Park, 55210 238th Ave E, Ashford, WA 98304 Building and Development - Utility Planner, Barb Wood, Thurston County Department of Resource Stewardship, Agriculture contributors - Administrator, Kathy Whalen, Thurston County Conservation District, kwhalen@, Nisqually River Council Program Manager, Sara Scott, sara@, Publication Editor, Cate O’dahl, ESP Services, Livestock Management – Nisqually River Council Program Manager, Sara Scott, Acknowledgements This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement 96065401-0 to the Nisqually River Foundation. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use. This Handbook has been a collaboration between Nisqually River Council, Nisqually Land Trust, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Stewardship Partners, and Nisqually River Foundation. Photo Credits Except as noted, photos are contributed by and are the property of the Nisqually Land Trust Collection, Stewardship Partners, or ESP Services. Publication Editor: ESP Services RIVER COUNCIL Land Conservancy contributors – Executive Director, Joe Kane, Nisqually Land Trust, and Publication Editor, Cate O’dahl, ESP Services, L A N D T R U S T ~ 31 ~ Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 31 9/2/2011 3:06:44 PM
  32. 32. The Nisqually Good Neighbor Handbook a publication of the Nisqually River Council, 2011 RIVER COUNCIL Nisqually_Good_Neighbor_Handbook_2011.indd 32 9/2/2011 3:06:44 PM