Trees, Trees, Trees: The Importance of Forests
While much of the focus of the salmon recovery effort has been on the riparian zone, the importance of retaining the upland forests in WRIA 9 cannot be neglected. Up to half of the rain falling on forests is returned to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation. In forested environments, rain is able to infiltrate and recharge groundwater. Groundwater upwelling in streams is the greatest source of cool clean water that salmon need. Loss of tree cover and increase in impervious surface reduces groundwater infiltration and increases surface water runoff and flooding. In a forested environment with relatively undisturbed soils, 35% of precipitation is infiltrated and recharges groundwater. Surface water runoff is minimized - indeed almost nonexistent - which helps avoid siltation of streams. In a suburbanized environment, 55% to 70% of rain runs off to streams - only 15% is infiltrated.
King County is working to conserve upland forests in the rural areas of the county, which is especially important because these areas coincide with some of our best remaining salmon habitat in the Middle Green Sub-watershed. Through a combination of financial incentives and technical assistance to forest landowners, the County’s forestry program is working to curb the conversion of forestland to residential development. King County recently acquired 285 acre Sugarloaf Mountain in WRIA 9, and the recent Forest Stewardship class enrolled three landowners with a total of 36 acres in the Green/Duwamish River watershed. For 2002, 20 new applications have been received from landowners in WRIA 9 seeking to enroll in the Public Benefit Rating System, which provides tax benefits to landowners who voluntarily protect open space and forests.
More info: and http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/LANDS/incentiv.htm.
January 11, 12, 25, 26, 9 a.m. - Noon each day
February 8, 9, 22, 23, 9 a.m. - Noon each day
March 8, 9, 22, 23, 9 a.m. - Noon each day
Native plants grown from locally collected seed are the cornerstone of conservation and ecological restoration of streams and wetlands. Start plants from seed and cuttings, transplant, and maintain nursery stock.
Sign up with Debbie, King Conservation District, 206-764-3410, ext.119, firstname.lastname@example.org
January 12, 9:30 a.m. - Noon
Sign up with Leslie Gerring, 206-721-1367
January 12, 10:00 a.m. - 2 p.m.