The focus of the Council’s work is on voluntary habitat restoration and protection, and follows a landscape process-based approach outlined in the Year 2015 Strategic Approach (PDF)
The Skagit Watershed Council was formed to provide leadership, technical expertise, coordination and a forum for informed discussion and decision-making with regard to salmon habitation restoration and protection. Our approach aspires to be collegial and collaborative, drawing in diverse interests to collectively engage.
The founding members recognized that the causes of salmon decline are cumulative, complex and multi-faceted and, in many ways, beyond the purview and capacity of a small, local not-for-profit organization such as the Watershed Council. Nonetheless, people felt that more needed to be done locally and that, to be successful, it would need to involve a broad coalition of interests working productively together.
So we chose a clear and narrow focus, that of science-based voluntary habitat restoration and protection. Habitat is a local issue, a significant piece of the larger puzzle and an arena in which the Council can provide effective leadership.
We began with a new idea, that of looking at the entire watershed rather than a project-by-project basis, developing through the Restoration and Protection Committee the documents that are now considered foundational. Today we are guided in our efforts by the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan and by the Council’s Year 2015 Strategic Approach (PDF).
The Council holds a number of events each year designed to provide timely information regarding the work of the Council and its member organizations, as well as opportunities to celebrate the river.
Overview of the statewide lead entity program
In the State of Washington lead entities are local, watershed-based organizations that perform a variety of administrative and planning functions, as provided in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 77.85 Salmon Recovery (HB2496). These functions include collaboratively developing local recovery strategies and recruiting sponsors to undertake projects. Read more about the Typical Functions of a Lead Entity (PDF). At the end of 2009 there were 27 designated lead entities throughout the state. Read more about lead entities and Salmon Recovery.
In 1998 the Skagit Watershed Council became the lead entity for the Skagit and Samish basins (PDF).
John Scurlock for Skagit Land Trust