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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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February 10, 1997
Contact: Madonna Luers, (509) 456-4073

Prepare for impending floods by applying for in-stream work permits now

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) encourages both public and private landowners who expect to do in-stream work to protect or repair property from impending floods to get permits now to avoid delays.

Abundant snow throughout eastern Washington means high spring run-off that is likely to result in flooding at any time. When floods destroy roads, bridges, culverts, houses, barns, fences, farmland, and other property, landowners often need to work in streams and rivers to repair the damage.

All work within the ordinary high water mark of streams and rivers must be reviewed through a state Hydraulics Project Application (HPA) by WDFW to assure that it doesn't harm fish and fish habitat. Normally the HPA review process takes two to four weeks.

During severe flooding, where life or property is being threatened, WDFW will issue emergency HPA approvals over the phone with the permit paperwork following. To help public and private landowners move forward as quickly as possible to address flood control needs, WDFW is encouraging landowners to prepare permit applications now.

This pre-flooding permit process will also help landowners get technical advice from WDFW biologists for using in-stream work methods that are more flood- preventative and fish-friendly in the long term.

All landowners who anticipate flood damage this season, whether they be county/city governments or farmers with streamside property, can contact the closest WDFW regional office or local habitat biologist for assistance now. (WDFW offices in eastern Washington: Spokane, 509-456-4082; Ephrata, 509-754-4624; Yakima, 509- 575-2740.)