In 2016, the Washington State Legislature created the Office of Chehalis Basin and the Chehalis Basin Board: a new framework to advance the Chehalis Basin Strategy.
The Office of Chehalis Basin was created to aggressively pursue implementation of an integrated Strategy for long-term flood damage reduction and aquatic species restoration in the Chehalis River Basin. The Office administers funding provided by the Legislature to implement the Chehalis Basin Strategy. The Office is located within the Department of Ecology.
The Chehalis Basin Board
The Chehalis Basin Board was created to oversee implementation of the Chehalis Basin Strategy. The Board is building on the previous work of the Governor’s Chehalis Basin Work Group.
The Chehalis Basin Board consists of seven voting members:
- Two members appointed by the Governor;
- One each appointed by the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and the Quinault Indian Nation;
- Three members appointed by the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority.
Current Board members and their appointing authority include:
- Edna Fund, Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority
- Jay Gordon, Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority
- Tyson Johnston, Quinault Indian Nation
- Steve Malloch, Office of the Governor
- Harry Pickernell, Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation
- Vickie Raines, Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority
- J. Vander Stoep, Office of the Governor
Five State agency directors’ representatives serve as non-voting, ex officio members.
Ex officio members include:
- Michael Garrity, Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Stephen Bernath, Department of Natural Resources
- Bart Gernhart, Department of Transportation
- Josh Giuntoli, Washington State Conservation Commission
- Rich Doenges, Department of Ecology
House Bill 2856 
When the Legislature established a new framework in 2016 for implementing the Chehalis Basin Strategy by passing House Bill (HB) 2856, they did three things:
- Clarified the elements of the new Chehalis Basin Strategy;
- Established a new Office of Chehalis Basin to lead implementation; and
- Created a new Chehalis Basin Board to provide long-term oversight.
This law requires the Chehalis Basin Strategy to include the following elements:
- A detailed set of actions to reduce flood damage and improve aquatic species habitat;
- An implementation schedule; and
- Quantified measures for evaluating the success of implementation.
The Office and Board became operational in mid-2017, at the beginning of the 2017-2019 funding biennium. For more information: