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Natural Resources Planning

Watershed Resource Inventory Areas

In 1998, the state Legislature approved the Watershed Management Act, which encourages local communities to develop plans for protecting local water resources and habitat. Lawmakers wanted local governments and citizens to develop plans since they know their own regions best. Although the 1998 law does not require planning, Thurston County and local governments chose to step up to the task. The Washington State Department of Ecology is providing technical and financial support for the effort.

WRIA is an acronym for “Water Resource Inventory Area” (pronounced “why-ruh”). WRIAs are watershed planning areas established by the Department of Ecology. Washington State is divided into 62 distinct WRIAs, each loosely drawn around a natural watershed or group of watersheds. A watershed is an area of land that drains into a common river, lake, or the ocean.

Thurston County has been a participant in four watershed planning in four WRIAs: the Nisqually River Watershed (WRIA 11), the Upper and Lower Chehalis River Watershed (WRIAs 22 and 23), the Kennedy-Goldsborough Watershed (WRIA 14), and the Deschutes Watershed (WRIA 13).

Thurston County has been a participant in watershed planning in the four watersheds in the county. The four watersheds are the Nisqually River Watershed (WRIA 11), the Upper and Lower Chehalis River Watershed (WRIAs 22 and 23), the Kennedy-Goldsborough Watershed (WRIA 14, and the County was the lead agency for the Deschutes Watershed (WRIA 13).

For a good description and detailed information about watershed planning in Washington state go to here.

Nisqually River Watershed (WRIA 11)

The lead agency for the Nisqually River watershed planning effort is the Nisqually Indian Tribe. The Nisqually Watershed Management Plan was adopted at a joint meeting of the Lewis and Thurston County Commissioners and the Pierce County Council in April 2004. To see the latest status of the Nisqually Watershed Planning Unit and read documents, click here. Lead Agency Contact: George Walter, (360) 438-8687, or email gwalter@nwifc.wa.gov .

Thurston County Contact: Scott Clark, Planning Department Director, (360) 709-3005 or email clarks@co.thurston.wa.us .

Chehalis River Watershed (WRIAs 22/23)

The lead agency for the Chehalis River watershed planning effort is Grays Harbor County. The Planning Unit is the Chehalis Basin Partnership. The Chehalis Basin Watershed Management Plan was adopted at a joint meeting of the Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, and Lewis County Commissioners on May 28, 2004.  To see the latest status of the Chehalis River Planning Unit and read documents, click here. Lead Agency Contact: Lee Napier, (360) 249-4222, or email lnapier@co.grays-harbor.wa.us .

Thurston County Contact: Scott Clark, Planning Department Director, (360) 709-3005 or email clarks@co.thurston.wa.us .

Kennedy-Goldsborough Watershed (WRIA 14)

The lead agency for the Kennedy-Goldsborough watershed planning effort was Mason County. The Planning Unit was unable to reach consensus in adopting the plan, therefore the planning effort was terminated. To view the documents associated with the watershed planning effort please go to here and here. Lead Agency Contact: Pam Bennett-Cumming, (360) 427-9670 ext. 287, or email pambc@co.mason.wa.us .

Thurston County Contact: Jeanne Kinney, (360) 754-4580 ext. 7845 or email kinneyj@co.thurston.wa.us .

Deschutes River Watershed (WRIA 13)

The lead agency for the Deschutes River watershed planning effort was Thurston County. The Planning Unit was unable to reach consensus in adopting the plan, therefore the planning effort was terminated. To view the documents associated with the watershed planning effort please go to here and here. Thurston County Contact: Jim Bachmeier (360) 357-2491 ext. 4275 or email bachmej@co.thurston.wa.us .

 

Contact Us

Interested Parties: If you would like to be added to our Web Mail list, please click here.
Staff contact: Cindy Wilson, Long Range Planning Manager. Phone: (360) 786-5475. E-mail: wilsonc@co.thurston.wa.us. 

 

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