Sub-basin planning offers view of draft

By Ann McCreary
Methow Valley News


Methow Valley, WA - The public is invited to review preliminary plans that are being developed to guide fish and wildlife recovery in the Methow and Okanogan watersheds.

Two public meetings will be held next week as part of the sub-basin planning process. The meetings will be held Tuesday (Feb. 17) in the Forest Service conference room in Twisp, and Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the Okanogan County Commission hearing room in Okanogan. Both meetings will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Drafts of preliminary sub-basin management plans will be available for review and comment at the meetings. The public may request a copy of the draft via e-mail from

Copies will also be placed in local libraries for review. Comments on the plans will be accepted until March 11.

When completed, sub-basin planning will guide how Bonneville Power Administration spends millions of dollars in mitigation funds for salmon and other wildlife recovery in the Columbia Basin.

The preliminary plans being presented next week were developed over several months by groups made up of stakeholders and people with technical expertise in fish and wildlife management. A Habitat Working Group rated the quality of attributes for more than 350 stream reaches in the Okanogan and Methow river basins and tributaries.

Once those attributes were rated, a "sub-basin core team" summarized factors that limit salmon production and developed preliminary strategies to facilitate salmon recovery. The regional technical team of the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board will review the plans to ensure they are consistent with regional salmon recovery goals.

Public comment on the preliminary plans will be considered when the final plan is written. The final draft is expected in April.

Sub-basin planning was initiated by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. In Okanogan County, the process is being coordinated by the Colville Confederated Tribes, Okanogan County and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

For more information, call Okanogan County Water Resources at (509) 422-7113 or email



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