Newaukum Landowners Interview Project

Flooding on the Chehalis River

As part of the Chehalis Basin Board’s ongoing work to understand flooding impacts to private property and the potential of the Restorative Flood Protection strategy, the Chehalis Basin Board has set an ambitious target of interviewing 100 landowners along the Newaukum River. The purpose of these interviews is to gain community insight as a valuable part of the Strategy’s goals to both improve river habitat and reduce flood damage.

Beginning in February 2018, interviewers began contacting landowners in order to learn more about historic impacts and property damage from flooding. It’s important to note that there are no current plans to undertake the Restorative Flood Protection strategy – the idea is currently undergoing a feasibility study. But because of the potential impacts to property owners are real, interviewers are also asking for landowners’ thoughts and perspectives on the Restorative Flood Protection strategy and whether it could work in the Newaukum sub-basin.

What is Restorative Flood Protection?

By adding large amounts of wood to river channels and planting dense vegetation on floodplains, Restorative Flood Protection slows and stores flood waters in a river channel and on the floodplain. While this will increase local flooding by a few inches to several feet on properties adjacent to a river, this process also stabilizes riverbanks and decreases down stream flooding. This handout (link) summarizes the Restorative Flood Protection approach.

In order for Restorative Flood Protection to work, landowners would need to agree to be involved through easements or buyouts. We need more landowner input to improve our understanding of local conditions and the willingness of landowners to participate in potential easement or buyout programs.

Interested in Participating?

Interviews are anonymous, and the information gathered is summarized and brought to the Chehalis Basin Board as part of their evaluation process. If you’re a landowner that lives along the Newaukum and you’d like to participate in the project, please call 360.338.7078 to schedule an interview.