Coordinated Watershed Planning, Implementation, and Restoration for Fish and Wildlife

WHEREAS, the 1994 Legislature found that there is a compelling need to provide coordinated planning, implementation and restoration of natural resources, and environmental protection on a watershed basis; and

WHEREAS, the 1994 Legislature found that watershed coordination should, to the greatest extent possible, build upon work that is already being performed by federal, state, tribal, and local governments, private landowners, and other groups; and

WHEREAS, the 1994 Legislature appropriated $10 million for watershed restoration projects, to be selected by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources, to protect and restore critical or depressed fish stocks and there is a compelling need to immediately focus on coordinated restoration in priority watersheds for fish and wildlife;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mike Lowry, Governor of the state of Washington, by virtue of the power vested in me, do hereby direct:

I. State agencies under my direction which are involved in watershed-based natural resource management and environmental protection efforts shall coordinate their watershed planning, implementation, and restoration processes.

II. Watershed planning and implementation efforts shall have as a first priority the restoration and enhancement of habitat, including water quality, for healthy, high priority fish and wildlife populations.

III. State agencies under my direction, in coordination with the Watershed Coordinating Council established by Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 2741 of the 1994 Legislative session, shall work under the direction of my office and provide regular reports to me on the status of their coordination efforts relating to watershed-based planning, implementation, and restoration.

IV. The Watershed Coordinating Council to prepare a report for me and the legislature by December 15, 1995 which (a) identifies those watersheds in the state where goals and objectives have been established and recommends how to facilitate establishment of goals and objectives for other state watersheds, including specific goals and objectives for fish and wildlife; (b) identifies strategies for establishing and funding locally or regionally-based watershed planning, implementation, and restoration activities; (c) identifies barriers and incentives to encourage local government, tribal, and private landowner cooperation in watershed planning, implementation, and restoration activities; (d) ell recommends how to integrate fish and wildlife habitat protection with land-use planning and regulation by local governments under the Growth Management Act and Puget Sound Watershed Plans; (e) recommends how to establish a statewide student and citizen watershed protection network; and (f) recommends how to establish a "river keeper" system for Washington watersheds. For the purposes of this section, the Council should work with an advisory committee consisting of interested parties including tribes, affected landowners, the timber industry and the environmental community.

V. By January 1, 1995, in conjunction with the report required in Section 3 of Substitute Senate Bill No. 6243 of the 1994 Legislative session, the Department of Fish and Wildlife with the Department of Natural Resources (a) shall develop a prioritized list of watersheds needing restoration for fish and wildlife; (b) in conjunction with the State Watershed Council, shall develop a coordinated habitat protection strategy for the top ten percent of priority watersheds which identifies local, private, state and federal roles and, where possible, builds upon already existing locally-based watershed efforts consistent with the state priority list; and (c) develop a process for prioritizing and protecting the remaining watersheds.

VI. Starting January 1, 1995, and every year thereafter, the Department of Fish and Wildlife in consultation with Department of Natural Resources, and in coordination with the State Watershed Council, shall provide a brief report to me and the appropriate legislative committees on the status of implementing watershed habitat restoration and protection efforts in priority watersheds. These reports shall also include an evaluation of the effectiveness of these protection and restoration efforts.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set
my hand and caused the seal of the State of
Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
1st day of April A.D., Nineteen hundred and ninety-four.

Mike Lowry
Governor of Washington


Secretary of State