Environmental Planning



The Environmental Planning Program monitors and assesses projects in the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Traditional area, on and off Reservation land, which may impact Environmental and Cultural resources and Human Health. Included in the development of this program is permitting and enforcement for actions on the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe Reservation.

Snoqualmie River Resilient Corridor Project


The Upper Snoqualmie River Resilient Corridor Project is a research and planning project that the Snoqualmie Tribe is conducting to hear from the Tribal Community in particular, and the broader community at large, about what they see currently happening to this part of the Snoqualmie River and surrounding land, what is important to them and their relationship to the river, and how they think it will change in the future.

To learn more or take part in the survey, click on the button below.

Snoqualmie River Resilient Corridor Project Focus Area

Employee Parking Lot Bioswales (2011)

Bioswales & Rain Gardens


Beginning in 2011, the Snoqualmie Tribe, in their continued efforts to develop responsibly, completed a Low Impact Development (LID) retrofit on the Snoqualmie Reservation at the Employee Parking Lot of the Snoqulamie Casino. The project involved retrofitting all 1500 lineal feet of 5 simple grass-lined swales with engineered bioretention soils, rock check dams, and a suite of native plants to slow down, treat, and promote infiltration of water run off. The drainage of these bioswales feeds into Kimball Creek, a Snoqualmie River tributary. This project was completed with an EPA 319 Clean Water Act grant.

In addition to bioswale engineering, the ENR offices and our Annex offices feature rain gardens. These rain gardens help to manage the stormwater runoff and drainage on our campus. Rain gardens use the diversity and quantity of plants to prevent erosion and filter toxins from the water. In addition to the landscaping benefits, the rain gardens featured on our campus include native plants that feed our local pollinators!

To learn more about rain gardens and how to make them, you can learn more in the resource, Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington, provided by the Washington State Department of Ecology, Washington State University, and Kitsap County.

If you’d like to learn about ENR’s Surface Water Code, please click on the button below.

Watershed Modeling


Watershed models are a reflection of our understanding of watershed systems. As with any tool, the answers they give are dependent on how we apply them, and the quality of these answers is no better than the quality of our understanding of the system.

Different watershed models can be used to answer different questions about topics such as streamflow discharge, water quality, fish habitat, effects of climate change and conservation or management activities, etc. It is important to select the appropriate model for the questions that are being asked.

The Snoqualmie Tribe was fortunate in that several researchers independently chose to investigate the Snoqualmie watershed and publish their research. The Tribe helped to assemble many of these practitioners, forming a new group called the Snoqualmie Science Coordination and Advisory Team or SnoSCAT. The Tribe tapped SnoSCAT’s capacity as a group, to embark with partners NOAA/NMFS and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on a research project investigating the effects of land use and climate changes on hydrology, stream temperature, and salmonid life cycle and population effects in the Snoqualmie basin.

Watershed Modeling Resources


SnoSCAT Meeting Presentation - October 2020

SnoSCAT Meeting Presentation – October 2020

Click on the link above to be taken to a 3d Flipbook version of this presentation.

“Water temperature, flow, and Chinook salmon responses to Climate Change and Riparian Restoration in the Snoqualmie River”

This presentation focuses on using modeling tools to project how climate change and riparian restoration affect the Snoqualmie River, and thus affect the river’s Chinook salmon populations.

Tolt River Floodplain Model Poster - October 2019

Modeling Long-Term Effects of Riparian Restoration for Salmon Recovery in the Lower Tolt River” Poster

An October 2019 report on the Tolt River Floodplain Restoration Project in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Tolt River Floodplain Restoration Project


The Tolt River project focuses on the water modeling of the Tolt River and how it flows into the Snoqualmie River. Using multiple tools of watershed modeling, the Tribe was able to produce detailed reports on how the Tolt River is being impacted from the headwaters to the mouth of the river.

The tools used included Penumbra, a tool that models stream shade and temperature, and VELMA (Visualized Ecosystem Land Management Assessment), an eco-hydrological watershed simulator. Both of these modeling tools are established within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Snoqualmie River Riparian Habitat Restoration Project


The Snoqualmie River project focuses on how climate change and restoration practices can impact water temperature, water flow, and Chinook salmon populations. The models included in this project are DHSVM (Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model) and RBM (River Basin Model).

The DHSVM model is an open-source tool, developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington to show the environmental and human effects on hydrologic processes, including snow accumulation and melt. Using these models, SnoSCAT produced scenarios for how climate change and riparian restoration can negatively or positively impact the Chinook salmon’s phenology, individual growth and size, and survival of their species.

Suction Dredge Mining Legislation


Suction Dredge Mining Equipment

Originally published in the Yakima Herald

Suction dredging is a mining method generally utilized by individual hobbyist miners in which the bed of a public stream, lake, saltwater beach or river is vacuumed up and processed using a gas-powered motor to search for fragments of precious metals, such as gold. The mining causes erosion and sedimentation in streams, which can smother fish eggs and invertebrates.


We’ve provided some media sources here that have covered the topic of suction dredge mining in Washington State. To learn more about the Tribe’s standing on suction dredge mining legislation, please see the 2020 Press Release.

Suction Dredge Mining Legislation Media Resources


Snoqualmie Tribe Press Release - Mar. 2020

“Snoqualmie Indian Tribe celebrates legislative win against suction dredge mining in Washington State”

Bill Passes Senate to Protect Aquatic Habitat from Dangerous Practice

March 2020

The Arlington Times - Opinion Mar. 2020

“Tribes against suction dredge mining”

March 28, 2020

By Lorraine Loomis

Yakima Herald - Feb. 2020
Seattle Times - Opinion Sept. 2019

“SOS: Gold dredging hurts Washington streams”

September 13, 2019

By Brad Throssell

Seattle Times - Opinion Jan. 2017