Welcome to this Values Planning session as we work together to find solutions to ongoing flood damage in the Chehalis Basin.The Basin is the state’s second largest river drainage system, made up of distinct landscapes: mountain foothills, farms, forests, small towns and cities. Its elevation ranges from sea level up to around 2,700 feet on its highest mountain. Important and rare species of fish and aquatic wildlife live in its wetlands, streams and rivers, it’s home to the greatest diversity of amphibians in the state, it offers crucial nesting grounds for migratory birds and a wildlife corridor connecting the Cascades to the Olympics and it’s one of the state’s most important wild salmon strongholds.
But it’s subject to increasing flooding.
The Chehalis Basin Strategy was launched shortly after the devastating floods of 2007 and 2009 as a long-term plan designed to both restore aquatic species habitat and reduce flood damage for Basin communities. Unfortunately, we had more floods since then, including a major flood this year. The Office of the Chehalis Basin and Chehalis Basin Board were created by the Washington State legislature in 2016. The Office of the Chehalis Basin operates within the Washington State Department of Ecology, and works with the board to oversee the development and implementation of the Chehalis Basin Strategy.The Chehalis Basin Board remains committed to collaborating and securing public input from everyone who lives in the Basin, and to exploring actions that could accomplish the desired large-scale flood damage reduction outcomes at the least environmental cost.