The Yakima Basin Conservation Campaign is working with the Yakima Integrated Plan Working Group to ensure that the Plan lives up to its promise to protect and restore the Yakima Basin’s ecological health and enhance sustainable recreation opportunities by:
Fish and Water
Wild & Scenic Rivers
- Protecting approximately 200 miles of rivers as Wild and Scenic to ensure their free-flowing nature for fish, wildlife and recreation.
- Restoring salmon populations from about 25,000 today to as many 400,000, including what could prove to be the largest sockeye run in the lower 48.
- Providing fish passage at six existing reservoirs, including Clear Lake, Cle Elum, Bumping, Tieton (Rimrock), Keechelus and Kachess.
- Restoring river and stream habitat throughout the Yakima Basin by restoring and reconnecting floodplains, meadows and side channel habitat; unblocking streams that are obstructed for salmon and steelhead migration by roads and irrigation infrastructure; and replanting and protecting riparian corridors.
- Investing $400 million in water conservation and efficiency, saving up to 170,000 acre feet of water to stretch water supplies and improve river flows for fish.
- Establishing a robust water market to move water from lower value to higher value crops, especially in drought years in order to reduce the need for new surface storage and to help protect instream flows during droughts.
- Improving groundwater management and recharging groundwater to improve water quality and late summer river flows for the benefit of salmon.
- Protecting over 140,000 acres of existing public lands in the Teanaway and Manastash-Taneum regions with National Conservation and Recreation Area designation. These U.S. Forest Service lands are critical headwaters for the Yakima River and provide world-class recreation opportunities. The lands should be managed consistent with their ecological needs and to allow for balanced, well-managed and high-quality recreation experiences including hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, off-road vehicle use, skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. More specifically, creating a National Conservation and Recreation Area that:
- Protects the headwater streams and forests of the Yakima River system.
- Manages recreation sustainably.
- Allows for enjoyment of the land by everyone who uses it.
- Balances opportunities for different types of recreation.
- Is provided adequate funding to ensure good land and recreation management.
- Protects tens of thousands of acres of existing roadless lands on U.S. Forest Service with wilderness designation as additions to the Alpine Lakes and William O. Douglas Wilderness Areas.
- Maintaining and/or restoring access to recreation opportunities at Bumping Lake reservoir.
- Protecting over 70,000 acres of private lands that include important corridor and habitat parcels in central Washington. The most prominent target for protection is a 45,000-acre parcel in the Teanaway River watershed that is currently up for sale and threatened with development. The Teanaway watershed is just 90 miles from Seattle. We are also seeking to protect 10,000 acres of forested Plum Creek checkerboard lands in the headwaters of the Taneum and Manastash creeks and 15,000 acres of shrub-steppe, a vital and diminishing habitat type in central Washington.