Friends of the White Salmon River is deeply concerned about the on-going update of the Klickitat County Shoreline Master Program, known as the SMP. The SMP, being updated at the insistence of Washington State for the first time since 1998, manages the uses of shorelines in the jurisdiction of the SMP. These are generally the larger creeks, rivers, and lakes, including the White Salmon river, the Klickitat river, and the Columbia river, and many tributary streams.

The SMP is not an environmental protection document, and in fact it is possible for the SMP to override and undo current environmental protections. FWSR is working to make sure that critical protections for salmon recovery are not negatively impacted.

Klickitat County refused funding from the Washington State Department of Ecology that would have required the county to meet certain standards for scientific and technical review, and for public participation.

FWSR, along with other groups, is urging Klickitat County to slow down the update process and to appoint a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and a Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC). You can help by writing a letter to the County requesting a TAC and a CAC. See below for a sample letter, or write your own. Be sure to say why you are concerned and how you will be affected if the shorelines are not protected.

FWSR also has a priority list of concerns. See this below, along with links to more information about the SMP generally and the Klickitat County proposal in particular.


Friends of the White Salmon priorities for the Shoreline Management Plan update in Klickitat County

November 2017

  1. Provide more opportunity for meaningful public participation and input by convening  a Citizens Advisory Committee.
  2. Review and incorporate all available science, by convening a Technical Advisory Committee of local scientists.
  3. Protect critical habitat areas for salmon restoration.
  4.  Do a better job of planning for water-dependent uses, including whitewater recreation.
  5. Adopt Wild and Scenic Management plan shorelines protections. 

Many, many thanks to all those who attended our informational workshop about the Klickitat County SMP Update on 11/10/17! Here are the Powerpoint slides from our speakers:

Powerpoint Slides from Pat Arnold’s presentation

Powerpoint Slides from Pat Connolly’s presentation

A Guide to the Klickitat County Website:

Klickitat County Shorelines Program Update:  Draft Analysis Report
This is the Shoreline Analysis, or Inventory. Section 7 “Shoreline Management Recommendations” (starts on page 117) is the place to start if you are looking at this for the first time and are not a scientist. Look in particular for the discussion of the Critical Areas Ordinance and the SMP on page 121.  

Shorelines Program Update-Draft Analysis Report: Appendix A
This is the proposed shoreline jurisdiction narrative– or, where will the SMP apply?  There are criteria for shoreline jurisdiction, such as flow volume.  Present County proposal removes Rock Creek and some other shorelines currently included.  It also adds some that are not currently included.  The scientific data used by Klickitat County for these determinations should be reviewed by a local Technical Advisory Committee.

Gap Analysis drafted November 2016
This lists current Department of Ecology requirements (RCW) for SMP and indicates (on all points) whether the current SMP is consistent, partially consistent, or inconsistent with those requirements. A total of 47 pages. Many points not applicable to Klickitat County, but interesting reading anyway.

SMP Proposed Shorelines Environmental Designation (SED)
SED Changes Summary
These documents show the current and proposed Shoreline Environments.  This is one area where we expect to see the Planning Commission recommend changes for the worse, at least along the White Salmon river.

Klickitat County Annotated Working Draft SMP June 2017
This is the draft, updated, we believe to October 2017, which the Planning Commission is reviewing in the workshops. Substantial organizational changes have been made in the document, which makes it extremely hard to follow and even harder to see what has or has not changed from the prior version.  Nevertheless, the organizational changes are probably for the best in the long run.

Shoreline Restoration Plan (working draft)
The Shoreline Restoration Plan, a non-regulatory vision for voluntary restoration of shoreline ecological function.

Current Klickitat County Shorelines Master Plan (1996)


Klickitat County is currently in the process of updating the Shoreline Master Program.

Shoreline Master Programs (SMP) are shoreline specific, comprehensive plans designed to direct land use policies and regulations within designated shorelines in the state of Washington. SMPs are required under the 1972 Shoreline Management Act (SMA). 

The goal of the SMA is “to prevent the inherent harm in an uncoordinated and piecemeal development of the state’s shorelines.” According to the SMA, all cities and counties with “shorelines of the state” must prepare and adopt a Shoreline Master Program– this includes Klickitat County.

There are three policy areas to the SMA:

  • Shoreline use – establishes the concept of preferred uses of shoreline areas, “uses shall be preferred which are consistent with control of pollution and prevention of damage to the natural environment…”
  • Environmental protection – intended to protect shoreline natural resources, including water, vegetation, wildlife and aquatic life
  • Public access – provisions for public access points to publicly owned areas, including the preservation and enlargement of recreational opportunities.

Useful Links: