Learn more about the integrated plan
To restore the health and integrity of the Yakima River Basin we must balance the needs of people with the needs of the land and river — now and in the future. The Yakima Basin Integrated Plan (Yakima Plan) is a solution that ensures our public lands and waters remain open for everyone to enjoy from the forested headwaters to the arid shrub-steppe of the middle and lower Yakima Valley.
This balanced package of actions will protect lands and waters, improve water quality and quantity, restore salmon and steelhead populations, improve natural and built infrastructure, drive a healthy recreation economy, and return sustainable jobs to the woods.
The Yakima Plan is a 30 year vision to:
- Restore salmon and steelhead populations from under about 25,000 today to 300,000 by improving fish passage into the Yakima Basin’s headwaters and restoring river and stream habitat
- Conserve up to 170,000 acre feet of water through irrigation system upgrades
- Institute a robust water market during drought years to equitably move water from low to high value uses
- Enhance water storage to make up for a declining snowpack due to climate change, beginning with a small pool raise at Cle Elum Reservoir and the installation of a drought year pump to access more stored water in Kachess Reservoir
- Protect 70,000 acres of private land, including over 50,000 acres in the Teanaway River watershed that were acquired by the State of Washington as the first major action under the Yakima Plan in 2013
- Enhanced protection for over 160,000 acres of federal land and about 200 miles of new Wild and Scenic rivers, starting with Wild and Scenic designation of the upper Cle Elum River system
Plan proponents are currently seeking authorization of the first ten years of the Yakima Plan’s implementation, including enhanced water conservation, enhanced water markets habitat restoration, fish passage at Cle Elum and Rimrock reservoirs, land protection, and water storage enhancements at Kachess and Cle Elum reservoirs.