The Chehalis Basin is unique. It supports distinct communities and landscapes, commercial farms and forests, and important and rare species of fish and wildlife. It is home to the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, and the Quinault Indian Nation’s fishing, hunting, and gathering rights within the Basin are recognized by U.S. treaty.
Flooding is a normal part of the Chehalis basin’s ecology, but decades of intensive land use have made our lands and waterways incapable of absorbing even normal levels of flooding, putting homes, businesses, towns, and fish and wildlife at greater and greater risk.
Now, climate change is making the situation potentially catastrophic.
The Chehalis Basin Strategy is bringing people together across the Basin to halt and reverse the devastating decline of salmon and other aquatic species, and protect communities and landscapes from the predicted increase of flooding disasters.
The Chehalis Basin Strategy
The Chehalis Basin Strategy is a 10-year partnership of agency, tribal, and independent scientists, private landowners, utility managers, fishers, farmers, and foresters, and local leaders who are imagining and examining new paths forward.
Early actions to restore aquatic species habitat and help the region withstand flooding are already underway. As the long-term strategy continues to take shape, residents across the Basin are invited to weigh in on the set of actions under consideration.
What’s happening now?
2020 is the year the Chehalis Basin Board will develop the suite of interlocking recommendations to make the region more resilient in the face of climate change. The Board is guiding the evaluation process and will make its recommendations for how to combine and sequence its priority projects and actions in a long-term strategy by the end of 2020.
2020 kicked off with a seminar to evaluate the Aquatic Species Restoration Plan, a key part of the Chehalis Basin Strategy. More than 150 community members, scientists, and restoration professionals attended. Refinements will be made throughout the year, in partnership with local landowners.
A flood damage reduction project proposed by the Flood Control District in Lewis County is also under consideration for inclusion as a piece of the strategy. The Chehalis Basin Board supported the Flood District’s decision to sponsor the project and forward it for formal environmental review by state and federal agencies. Learn more about this proposed project, which includes a flood protection dam and airport levee improvements.
- Draft report release from state environmental review: Feb. 27, 2020
- Open comment period for draft report: February 27 – May 27, 2020
More information on previously-evaluated actions, including local-scale flood adaptation, is available in the 2017 Programmatic EIS.