Clark Public Utilities honored for Salmon Creek restoration efforts

May 31, 2002
The Washington state Department of Agriculture recently honored Clark Public Utilities for working with farmers and other landowners to improve water quality and habitat in Salmon Creek.

OLYMPIA, Wash., May 31, 2002 -- The state Department of Agriculture recently honored Clark Public Utilities for working with farmers and other landowners to improve water quality and habitat in Salmon Creek, an urban creek running through Clark County. Clark Public Utilities provides water service to more than 25,000 homes and businesses in Clark County, mostly in the Salmon Creek watershed.

Acting Director Bill Brookreson on May 21 presented two representatives of Clark Public Utilities with the Director's Citation Award, the highest award the department presents to individuals, groups or organizations that have contributed to programs that promote the agricultural community.

Richard Cyr, director of water and administrative services for Clark Public Utilities and Jeff Wittler, environmental services manager, received the plaque while visiting with Brookreson in Olympia to discuss watershed issues.

The Salmon Creek enhancement program is designed to improve and protect water quality and water quantity throughout the Salmon Creek basin. The basin encompasses about 92 square miles within Clark County.

"What impresses us with the utility's restoration efforts is that it stresses voluntary, incentive-based approaches in working with landowners, farmers and others in local partnerships to improve a watershed," Brookreson said. "When we harness the creativity and energy of people we can accomplish great things."

In cooperation with landowners and the general public, staff members at Clark Public Utilities have spearheaded voluntary buffers along the creek, tree plantings, trash clean-up days, meetings to educate landowners on stream bank re-vegetation and sediment issues, and fencing projects to keep livestock out of the creek.

WSDA has been working with agricultural leaders and state, tribal, federal and local political entities for some time to further water quality and habitat restoration efforts that support salmon and other endangered species.

In addition to the Director's Citation Award, Brookreson said the department is nominating the utility for a national watershed award sponsored by The Conservation Fund and the National Geographic Society in partnership with CF Industries, Inc., a large nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer cooperative owned by farmer members.

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