|Skagit: Seattle City Light continues land
purchases - Utility buys two parcels for
Kim Robinson / Skagit
Skagit County, WA - 3/7/02 - Seattle City Light has
purchased two pieces of land in the Skagit River basin for
wildlife habitat protection.
The utility, which owns the Ross and Diablo dams
on the upper Skagit River, bought the land as part of an ongoing
habitat protection program, according to Lynn Best, Seattle City
Light’s manager of science policy.
One piece of land is 14 acres along the south
bank of the Skagit River near Sedro-Woolley. The land includes the
mouth of Gilligan Creek, which Best described as a critical piece
of habitat off the Skagit River’s main channel. The Gilligan
Creek parcel cost about $66,000.
“There’s very little off-channel habitat in
the lower Skagit River,” Best said.
This purchase will preserve one of the remaining
pieces used by chinook, coho and pink salmon as well as steelhead
trout, she said.
The other land is 40 acres between Rockport and
Darrington along Highway 530. Best described the land as wetlands
and forested areas with many beaver ponds. This parcel cost about
$68,000, Best said.
The land was purchased though a Seattle City
Light program that set $4.5 million aside for acquisition of fish
The purchases are separate from the land
acquisitions the utility made in the upper Skagit basin as part of
its federal dam relicensing agreement. Diablo and Ross dams were
relicensed in 1996.
The purchases were just the most recent in the
utility’s acquisition of Skagit County land.
Seattle City Light already owned 54 acres for
its endangered species program, the same one the newest purchases
are included under. In addition, the utility owns 90 acres along
rivers and creeks required as part of the dam relicensing package.
The largest purchases were 7,884 acres in the
Nooksack and Skagit basins for wildlife protection. Those
purchases also were part of the dam relicensing agreement.
The purchases were endorsed by the Skagit
Watershed Council after a process that included a technical review
and discussion by a subcommittee, a committee and the full
council, according to Shirley Solomon, chair of the group.