Watershed council to explain its work in keeping Stillaguamish River healthy

  • Thu Jan 19th, 2012 6:04pm
  • News

By Gale Fiege Herald Writer

ARLINGTON — People are invited to learn what the Stillaguamish Watershed Council does at a meeting set for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Stillaguamish Tribe’s Angel of the Winds Casino restaurant conference room, 3438 Stoluckquamish Lane.

The watershed council is a 26-member group of people dedicated to restoring and maintaining a healthy Stillaguamish River system, said Franchesca Perez, an assistant to the council. Perez also works as an outreach biologist for the tribe.

The watershed council focuses on issues regarding the quality of life for people and wildlife, she said.

“The significance of this diverse group is that we can address issues from varying perspectives, in an open forum where all voices can be heard in an atmosphere of respect and value,” Perez said in a statement from the council. “We learn from the past to provide for a healthy and naturally sustainable future.”

In 1990, the Stillaguamish Watershed Council was formed in response to poor water quality conditions and declining salmon populations. The original focus of the group was to assist in the cleanup of water pollution in the Stillaguamish River by guiding a plan approved that year by the state Department of Ecology.

In more recent years, the mission has expanded with a focused effort on the recovery of Stillaguamish chinook salmon after they were listed as threatened in 1999. The group’s Stillaguamish Watershed Chinook Recovery Plan was adopted in 2005 and is included in the federal recovery plan for the entire Salish Sea chinook population.

The council would some day like to address upland wildlife and avian habitat issues as part of the future of the river’s ecosystem, Perez said.

For more information, go to www.stillaguamishwatershed.org.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.