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The Tacoma News Tribune’s (TNT) Rob Carson wrote this fabulous and well-researched story on the Nisqually River and the Nisqaully River Council :

“Revolution on the Nisqually River
Nisqually council works, successfully, for cooperative conservation

“For people who spend their lives studying rivers, the Nisqually is a model made in heaven. Its only 78 miles long, but it flows through such spectacular, varied terrain that it makes an ideal living laboratory for geologists, hydrologists and biologists.

MULTIMEDIA: View photo gallery of the Nisqually River corridor
From its birthplace on Mount Rainier through pristine forests to where it enters Puget Sound, the Nisqually River is a Pacific Northwest gem….

The Nisqually is a model in another important way as well.

For 20 years, it has been watched over by the Nisqually River Council, a loosely knit group of landowners, business people and government representatives who rely on consensus and a mutual appreciation of the watershed.

As the global search for ways to balance economic and environmental needs grows more desperate, the Nisqually plan has begun to stand out as a prototype. The 18-member council has had such success that its philosophical basis is being used as a blueprint for environmental management around the world.

The Nisqually process sounds simple, but it involves revolutionary shifts in thinking about politics, economics and lifestyles.

In short, rather than saving the river from people, the Nisqually River Council tries to save the river for people. Its members use collaboration instead of government regulations and the courts, looking for places where economic values and natures values align….


The 18-member Nisqually River Council is made up of representatives from:

Pierce County
Thurston County
Lewis County
State Department of Fish and Wildlife
State Parks and Recreation Commission
State Department of Natural Resources
State Department of Ecology
Nisqually Tribe
Citizens Advisory Committee (two seats)
Washington Conservation Commission
University of Washington/Pack Forest
U.S. Army at Fort Lewis
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Mount Rainier National Park
Tacoma Public Utilities
Eatonville, Roy and Yelm (one seat to cover all three towns)
Gifford Pinchot National Forest”

Click Here
for more information on the Nisqually River Council

Click here
for the big map of the Nisqually River Basin.

Posted by Steve on July 29, 2008 at 5:13 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Thanks Liz, My interest is water quality. Yelm was somehow forcded do a Comprehensive Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (long resisted)on this huge development. The CP states that Yelm has no capital facilities for water and sewage. I guess that means their wells do not meet State requirements. Thru the years at City Council Meetings, there have been a number of studies and test sites but no new clean wells in use. The EIS says Yelm will be looking to surface water for development. There is a lawsuit here, but it is to protect existing water rights. The County is co-partner with Yelm for the development. I don’t understand health and finance issues for residents. The CP and EIS is available at Yelm. Not sure how what you say fits but have hopes it will be sorted out. Nice article.

    Comment by Gail on July 30, 2008 at 2:29 pm

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