Endangered Species - Habitat Provisions - Washington


(a) The board shall establish by rule a program for the acquisition of riparian open space and critical habitat for threatened or endangered species as designated by the board. Acquisition must be a conservation easement. Lands eligible for acquisition are forestlands within unconfined channel migration zones or forestlands containing critical habitat for threatened or endangered species as designated by the board. Once acquired, these lands may be held and managed by the department, transferred to another state agency, transferred to an appropriate local government agency, or transferred to a private nonprofit nature conservancy corporation, as defined in RCW 64.04.130, in fee or transfer of management obligation. The board shall adopt rules governing the acquisition by the state or donation to the state of such interest in lands including the right of refusal if the lands are subject to unacceptable liabilities. The rules shall include definitions of qualifying lands, priorities for acquisition, and provide for the opportunity to transfer such lands with limited warranties and with a description of boundaries that does not require full surveys where the cost of securing the surveys would be unreasonable in relation to the value of the lands conveyed. The rules shall provide for the management of the lands for ecological protection or fisheries enhancement. For the purposes of conservation easements entered into under this section, the following apply:

(i) For conveyances of a conservation easement in which the landowner conveys an interest in the trees only, the compensation must include the timber value component, as determined by the cruised volume of any timber located within the channel migration zone or critical habitat for threatened or endangered species as designated by the board, multiplied by the appropriate quality code stumpage value for timber of the same species shown on the appropriate table used for timber harvest excise tax purposes under RCW 84.33.091(,)

(ii) For conveyances of a conservation easement in which the landowner conveys interests in both land and trees, the compensation must include the timber value component in (a)(i) of this subsection plus such portion of the land value component as determined just and equitable by the department. The land value component must be the acreage of qualifying channel migration zone or critical habitat for threatened or endangered species as determined by the board, to be conveyed, multiplied by the average per acre value of all commercial forestland in western Washington or the average for eastern Washington, whichever average is applicable to the qualifying lands. The department must determine the western and eastern Washington averages based on the land value tables established by RCW 84.33.140 and revised annually by the department of revenue.

(b) Subject to appropriations sufficient to cover the cost of such an acquisition program and the related costs of administering the program, the department must establish a conservation easement in land that an owner tenders for purchase(,) provided that such lands have been taxed as forestlands and are located within an unconfined channel migration zone or contain critical habitat for threatened or endangered species as designated by the board. Lands acquired under this section shall become riparian or habitat open space. These acquisitions shall not be deemed to trigger the compensating tax of chapters 84.33 and 84.34 RCW.

(c) Instead of offering to sell interests in qualifying lands, owners may elect to donate the interests to the state.

(d) Any acquired interest in qualifying lands by the state under this section shall be managed as riparian open space or critical habitat.

Citation: West's RCWA 76.09.040.

If the initiating governments choose to include a habitat component, the watershed plan shall be coordinated or developed to protect or enhance fish habitat in the management area. Such planning must rely on existing laws, rules, or ordinances created for the purpose of protecting, restoring, or enhancing fish habitat, including the shoreline management act, chapter 90.58 RCW, the growth management act, chapter 36.70A RCW, and the forest practices act, chapter 76.09 RCW. Planning established under this section shall be integrated with strategies developed under other processes to respond to potential and actual listings of salmon and other fish species as being threatened or endangered under the federal endangered species act, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq. Where habitat restoration activities are being developed under chapter 246, Laws of 1998, such activities shall be relied on as the primary nonregulatory habitat component for fish habitat under this chapter.

Citation: West's RCWA 90.82.100.


(a) The management board shall participate in the development of a habitat recovery plan to implement its responsibilities under (b) of this subsection. The management board shall consider local watershed efforts and activities as well as habitat conservation plans in the development and implementation of the recovery plan. Any of the participating counties may continue its own efforts for restoring steelhead habitat. Nothing in this section limits the authority of units of local government to enter into interlocal agreements under chapter 39.34 RCW or any other provision of law.

(b) The management board is responsible for the development of a lower Columbia salmon and steelhead habitat recovery plan and for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the plan. The management board will submit all future plans and amendments to plans to the governor's salmon recovery office for the incorporation of hatchery, harvest, and hydropower components of the statewide salmon recovery strategy for all submissions to the national marine fisheries service. In developing and implementing the habitat recovery plan, the management board will work with appropriate federal and state agencies, tribal governments, local governments, and the public to make sure hatchery, harvest, and hydropower components receive consideration in context with the habitat component. The management board may work in cooperation with the state and the national marine fisheries service to modify the plan, or to address habitat for other aquatic species that may be subsequently listed under the federal endangered species act. The management board may not exercise authority over land or water within the individual counties or otherwise preempt the authority of any units of local government.

(c) The management board shall prioritize as appropriate and approve projects and programs related to the recovery of lower Columbia river salmon and steelhead runs, including the funding of those projects and programs, and coordinate local government efforts as prescribed in the recovery plan. The management board shall establish criteria for funding projects and programs based upon their likely value in salmon and steelhead recovery. The management board may consider local economic impact among the criteria, but jurisdictional boundaries and factors related to jurisdictional population may not be considered as part of the criteria.

(d) The management board shall assess the factors for decline along each tributary basin in the lower Columbia. The management board is encouraged to take a stream-by-stream approach in conducting the assessment which utilizes state and local expertise, including volunteer groups, interest groups, and affected units of local government...

Citation: West's RCWA 77.85.200.

(1) The department, in consultation with the departments of fish and wildlife and natural resources, and the parks and recreation commission, shall adopt rules establishing a compensation schedule for the discharge of oil in violation of this chapter and chapter 90.56 RCW...

(3) The compensation schedule adopted under this section shall reflect adequate compensation for unquantifiable damages or for damages not quantifiable at reasonable cost for any adverse environmental, recreational, aesthetic, or other effects caused by the spill and shall take into account:

(a) Characteristics of any oil spilled, such as toxicity, dispersibility, solubility, and persistence, that may affect the severity of the effects on the receiving environment, living organisms, and recreational and aesthetic resources; 

(b) The sensitivity of the affected area as determined by such factors as:...

(v) The proximity of the spill to important habitats for birds, aquatic mammals, fish, or to species listed as threatened or endangered under state or federal law...

Citation: West's RCWA 90.48.366.

The legislature declares that it is the continuing policy of the state of Washington to set aside and manage certain lands within the state for public park purposes. To comply with public park purposes, these lands shall be acquired and managed to:...

(5) Preserve and maintain habitat which will protect and promote endangered, threatened, and sensitive plants, and endangered, threatened, and sensitive animal species...

Citation: West's RCWA 79A.05.305.

Beneficial uses of water under a municipal water supply purposes water right may include water withdrawn or diverted under such a right and used for:

(1) Uses that benefit fish and wildlife, water quality, or other instream resources or related habitat values; or

(2) Uses that are needed to implement environmental obligations called for by a watershed plan approved under chapter 90.82 RCW, or a comprehensive watershed plan adopted under RCW 90.54.040(1) after September 9, 2003, a federally approved habitat conservation plan prepared in response to the listing of a species as being endangered or threatened under the federal endangered species act, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq., a hydropower license of the federal energy regulatory commission, or a comprehensive irrigation district management plan.

Citation: West's RCWA 90.03.550.