Snoqualmie Tribe Environmental & Natural Resources Department

Important Updates from ENR

Below are a few updates and quick information that we believe are important for the Snoqualmie Tribal Membership and the public to know.

If you need to contact any staff members at the ENR Department, you can find our contact information on the Our Mission page.

Upper Snoqualmie River Resilient Corridor Management Plan

In June of 2022, led by Matt Baerwalde, the ENR Department, in collaboration with other Tribal
Departments, published the Upper Snoqualmie Resilient River Corridor Management Plan. The
Plan proposes a community-led vision for the Snoqualmie River, including 22 recommendations for restoration and activities to increase river and community resiliency against current and future threats.

The focal planning area for the project comprises the Snoqualmie River corridor and floodplain, from around Snoqualmie Falls up to the Three Forks area. In the Plan, the Snoqualmie Tribe also asserts that tribal community access is an integral part of a resilient river corridor, and it encourages continued physical and spiritual connections with this important landscape.

To learn more about and view the Upper Snoqualmie Resilient River Corridor Management Plan, please click on the button below.

View the Plan
Kokanee Salmon Return Update - Nov. 2021

After extensive restoration work on Zackuse Creek by the Snoqualmie Tribe and other local governments and organizations, kokanee salmon have been spotted in the creek for the first time in roughly 40 years! It’s exciting to see these “little red fish” returning to their native spawning grounds after so many years!

As of November 15, 2021, the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Environmental & Natural Resources Department and other local organizations have observed 45 kokanee salmon in Zackuse Creek, though the total could be more. This has been one of the most productive returns that has been observed on Lake Sammamish in the past 5 years. And the return season for the kokanee isn’t over yet!

To see some of the first footage of these kokanee salmon visit the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Facebook Page or watch the following video credited to David Kyle of Trout Unlimited.

To learn more about the partnership that is behind this success, please visit the Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group page of the King County website.

Opportunities for Snoqualmie Tribal Membership & Youth

The ENR Department keeps a look out for opportunities that apply to or seek out Snoqualmie Tribal Membership and Tribal Youth. These opportunities include volunteer, employment, and board member positions that often work towards bettering our community and shared environment in the Pacific Northwest. To find out more, click the link below.

Opportunities for Snoqualmie Tribal Membership & Youth

Probable Coho Urban Runoff Mortality Syndrome Culprit Identified

Here in the Puget Sound we commonly see high mortality in Coho salmon due to stormwater exposure when adults migrate up urban creeks to reproduce. Though there is a large spectrum of urban pollutants, a highly toxic 6PPD quinone product commonly used in tire rubber has now been identified in creeks at toxic levels. This breaking research will hopefully lead to regulation and consumer products that do not contain this toxic chemical as we rely on cars for transportation in our society and cannot escape the fact that tires are an important part of that.

“A ubiquitous tire rubber-derived chemical induces acute mortality in coho salmon”

Z. Tian et al., Science 10.1126/science.abd6951 (2020).

Snoqualmie Indian Tribe celebrates legislative win against Suction Dredge Mining in Washington State

After years of advocating for regulatory reform of suction dredge mining in Washington State’s streams and rivers, the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is celebrating progress in Olympia. Prior to the passing of HB 1261, Washington State regulations on suction dredging were the laxest of many Western states, including Idaho, Oregon, California, and Montana. After many previous attempts, and years of hard work to raise awareness of this outdated and habitat-destroying practice, suction dredge reform finally passed both houses of the Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Inslee on March 18th, 2020. Suction dredge mining will now be banned from 11,000 miles of Washington stream habitat designated as ‘critical’ for salmon and trout, while remaining legal on 61,000 miles of ‘non-critical’ stream habitat.

Suction dredging is a motorized method that mineral prospectors use to search for gold in the bottoms of waterways. Imagine a giant, floating vacuum that sucks up streambed gravels, then spits the tailings back out after sifting for precious metals. Miners say it’s a quick and effective way of covering ground, but the process damages in-stream habitat. Photo courtesy of Kim McDonald; originally published in the Yakima Herald.

Upcoming Events

Need to Contact Us?

To contact any of our ENR staff, please click on the button below.

ENR Updates Blog

The ENR Updates Blog is where updates about ENR Department projects will be shared, as well as updates about our local habitats.

We are excited to share with you the goals and passions of the ENR Department to create positive relationships with our local environment.

ENR Volunteer Email List

Want to sign up to receive ENR updates via the ENR Volunteer Email List?

Follow the link in the button to be taken to the ENR Email List form for upcoming updates on the ENR Department, local environmental issues, and volunteering opportunities with ENR.

2023 Volunteer Gratitude Summary

With 2023 closing out, and the all-new 2024 peeking its head around the corner, the time to reflect on our experiences and accomplishments is here...
Rushing water crashes over large boulders but a lady fern persists between rocks in the river channel

A Year of Accomplishments in Assessing the North Fork Tolt River

2023 was a busy year of field and remote sensing work for the North Fork Tolt River Assessment. As part of bringing the Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral...

Spring Camas

This Spring we are noticing so much camas growing on Snoqualmie Tribe’s Administrative Campus. c̓abid, or camas, is an important traditional food...
Volunteers on a mulch pile in Snoqualmie, WA near the Three Forks Natural Area

A Thank You to Volunteers

The mission of the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Environmental & Natural Resources (ENR) Department is to “protect, preserve, and enhance the natural and...

The Snoqualmie Tribe is Assessing the North Fork Tolt River

The North Fork Tolt River is a sparkling mountain stream flowing through Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands, including the newly reclaimed 12,000-acre...

Late Summer Garden Update 2022

You may notice it first when people start pointing out that the days are getting shorter. Darkness creeping into the evening earlier and earlier...

Zackuse Creek Restoration Volunteer Event

Zackuse Creek – Sammamish, WA

This restoration project site was in direct support of the culvert restoration that occurred on Zackuse Creek into Lake Sammamish, and was attended by nearly 80 volunteers.

Event Date 10/27/2018

Zackuse Creek Restoration Volunteer Event

Zackuse Creek – Sammamish, WA

This restoration project site was in direct support of the culvert restoration that occurred on Zackuse Creek into Lake Sammamish, and was attended by nearly 80 volunteers.

Event Date 10/27/2018

Earth Day 2019 Restoration Volunteer Event

Kimball Creek – Snoqualmie, WA

In partnership with the Mt. Si High School Green Team, Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center, the Society for Ecological Restoration, and Crown Bees.

Event Date 04/20/2019

Earth Day 2019 Restoration Volunteer Event

Kimball Creek – Snoqualmie, WA

In partnership with the Mt. Si High School Green Team, Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center, the Society for Ecological Restoration, and Crown Bees.

Event Date 04/20/2019

Haffner-Barfuse Restoration Volunteer Event

Snoqualmie River – Fall City, WA

The Haffner-Barfuse Floodplain Restoration Project is part of larger salmon recovery floodplain re-connection project in partnership with King County.

The goal of this project is to restore at least 30 acres of past agricultural land to healthy main river floodplain riparian forest. This event was in partnership with the Wilderness Awareness School.

Event Date 02/22/2020

Haffner-Barfuse Restoration Volunteer Event

Snoqualmie River – Fall City, WA

The Haffner-Barfuse Floodplain Restoration Project is part of larger salmon recovery floodplain re-connection project in partnership with King County.

The goal of this project is to restore at least 30 acres of past agricultural land to healthy main river floodplain riparian forest. This event was in partnership with the Wilderness Awareness School.

Event Date 02/22/2020

“The mission of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe (SIT) Environmental and Natural Resources (ENR) Department is to protect, preserve and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the Snoqualmie Reservation and traditional tribal lands for the benefit of current and future generations.”

ENR fulfills this mission through habitat restoration and water quality improvement projects, waste reduction and recycling, education through stewardship, and by monitoring the impacts of regional policies and projects.