SVPA is a voice for balance in long-term planning for Snoqualmie Valley. We are individuals and businesses with a deep commitment to this unique and beautiful region. Our goal is to find sustainable solutions for land use and floodplain management. To this end we:

  • Work with King County and other agencies to prevent the loss of irreplaceable farmland in King County.
  • Advocate for farmers and landowners at the county, state and federal levels.
  • Lead initiatives to increase commercial farmers’ access to water and drainage.
  • Work with scientists and private environmental firms to collect information, inform decision making, and educate the public.
  • Offer a “hotline” for questions from the public about flooding in the Snoqualmie Valley.

PROGRAMS

How high is the water near you? Check out https://floodzilla.svpa.us, Phase 1 rollout, showing real-time flood elevations. During flood events, the gages are updating every 15 minutes.

The SVPA has developed a citizen-science tool to make it easier to track what’s happening (with regional flooding) while it’s happening, and also to collect data to gain insight on how flooding is changing.

A team of dedicated members of the valley community, led by original Floodzilla author Geary Eppley, has deployed remote sensed flood monitors. These sensor constantly measure the height of the water level, are placed near roads, on bridges, and in fields throughout the valley. Data from each sensor is constantly uploaded to a website for users to view in real time. The first round of gages are up and running. Visit the website to see the gages currently up and running. The SVPA recently received funding from the King County Flood Control District to bring this project from working models to full production.

Strategic Watershed Planning

The SVPA represents the farming and rural community in strategic watershed planning discussions. We are committed to keeping the channels of communication open and that our work be sustained over time by a group that is consistent and accountable. Managing the limited resources in this valley against a variety of competing interests is difficult; but if we all work together, we will all be better off.

One action SVPA takes to achieve this goal is participating as a member of the in the King County Fish-Farm-Flood (FFF) Advisory Committee. After a productive three-year process, this diverse 14-member group agreed in 2017 to a series of actions to benefit endangered species, protect agricultural soils, and reduce flood impacts. The FFF committee is now engaged in holding each other and King County accountable for honoring the commitments made in 2017.

The SVPA staff serves on the Buffer Task Force to shape policy around riparian buffers. Riparian buffers are valuable because they enhance habitat, but sometimes they are implemented without regard to how farms are impacted over time. When too generous, they take valuable agricultural land out of production permanently, and can make operations more difficult. This task force brings together scientists, farmers, and conservation planners to develop science-based cost benefit analyses to ensure policies promote the biggest lift to habitat with the least impact to agriculture. The SVPA is very fortunate to have Program Manager Erin Ericson: she has a deep conservation background combined with an established history of working closely with farmers to help them solve problems. With your contributions, Erin is able to provide consistent and meaningful advocacy throughout this multi-year process. If you’d like to learn more about the details about buffers and farms, please email erin@svpa.us

“Farmers need advocates. There are a lot of decisions that get made at the watershed level that affect their farms, but farmers don’t have time to sit at those policy tables. SVPA is that advocate for us.”  

– Hannah Cavendish Palmer

Improving Safety & Water Security

An important piece of our work focuses on both long and short-term solutions to flooding issues. This is a constantly evolving list of projects which currently includes:

  • Engaging with King County as they work on the 2019 update to the county’s flood hazard management plan. This plan will have wide ranging impacts on the Snoqualmie Valley. As government leadership is working on the required plan update, SVPA is encouraging incorporation of additional durable generational solutions, promoting long-term resilience for the Valley.
  • Understanding impacts to flood elevations, especially non-permitted activities such as large tree plantings in the floodway.
  • Providing technical review and input to King County studies related to water safety and security. SPVA consolidates community experiences and feedback to make it actionable.
  • We engage in innovative projects to address flood levels on a farm scale, especially in the area of agricultural drainage recovery.

Monitoring Major Development Activities

We are currently working with other interested parties to monitoring the impacts of large-scale proposed developments, including the Snoqualmie Mill site and the Pearson Eddy WRP Restoration near Duvall. If you have concerns about these or any other proposed projects, please let us know; we’d like to hear about it. Email cynthia@svpa.us.

SVPA Hotline

SVPA recognizes that keeping up to date on rules and regulations that impact farmers and landowners in the Valley is challenging. We are here to help! As an organization fully focused on the ongoing viability of farming in our region, we make it our job to know the latest developments. If you have questions, give us a call at 425-549-0316 or email us at howcanwehelp@svpa.usWe might not have an answer for you immediately, but we probably know the right people to call. We want to provide this support for you, and would like to be up to date on your concerns.