King Conservation District holds bareroot plant sale

January 29, 2013

Residents can stock up on native shrubs and trees as the King Conservation District holds a bareroot plant sale.

The taxpayer-funded district offers the plants for conservation purposes, such as wildlife habitat, windbreaks, hedgerows, reforestation and stream enhancement.

The plant stock is bareroot, meaning the shrubs and trees do not come in pots or burlap bags.

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King County Flood Control District preserves dollars for salmon projects

June 19, 2012

Issaquah salmon-restoration projects could garner grant dollars after all, even though a lawsuit threatened to cut off funds for conservation projects countywide.

King County Flood Control District leaders decided to fund salmon-recovery projects after the King Conservation District stopped doling out grants amid a legal challenge.

Flood Control District officials approved $3 million May 14 for projects to improve water quality, protect and restore habitat, and support salmon recovery efforts. King County Council members sit as the executive board for the Flood Control District.

The decision is meant to plug a gap left after the King Conservation District halted a separate process to issue salmon-recovery grants. Read more

Issaquah resident elected to King Conservation District board

March 27, 2012

Issaquah resident Christopher “Kit” Ledbetter is the latest addition to the King Conservation District board after a little-noticed, uncontested election.

Ledbetter, longtime parks and recreation director for SeaTac municipal government, earned a supervisor seat on the board of the conservation district — the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and providing information and technical assistance to landowners.

Landowners fund the district through a $10-per-parcel assessment fee.

In 2011, the district shifted to online elections in a push to boost turnout. King County Elections does not administer district elections. Instead, the district relied on Bellevue-based Election Trust and Scytl USA to coordinate the balloting.

Though the district encompasses most of the more than 1.1 million registered voters in the county, anemic turnout defined recent conservation district elections.

Ledbetter received 205 votes out of 216 votes cast during the monthlong election. Other votes went to write-in candidates; one voter cast a ballot for Mickey Mouse.

The results do not become official until certified by the Washington State Conservation Commission in May.

Issaquah resident elected to King Conservation District board

March 20, 2012

NEW — 11:50 a.m. March 20, 2012

Issaquah resident Christopher “Kit” Ledbetter is the latest addition to the King Conservation District board after a little-noticed, uncontested election.

Christopher 'Kit' Ledbetter

Ledbetter, longtime parks and recreation director for SeaTac municipal government, earned supervisor seat on the board of the conservation district — the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and providing information and technical assistance to landowners.

The district encompasses King County except for Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish. Landowners fund the district through a $10-per-parcel assessment fee.

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Preston meeting to address agriculture, environment

March 13, 2012

King County is offering workshops to address field drainage issues related to fish and wildlife regulations.

Maintaining farm field drainage ditches has become complicated during the past 20 years because many ditches provide habitat for chinook salmon and other species protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

“We want to help landowners maintain properly functioning drainage systems affordably and in a way that considers fish and wildlife issues,” said Mark Isaacson, county Water and Land Resources Division director.

The county is hosting workshops from 7-9 p.m. in late March. The initial meeting is at the Preston Community Center, 8625 310th Ave. S.E., March 19. The next meeting is at 21 Acres, 13701 N.E. 171st St., Woodinville, March 20. The last workshop is at Enumclaw High School, 226 Semanski St. S., March 22.

Staffers from the county agriculture program and the King Conservation District plan to show participants how to get coordinated services to complete maintenance projects in a cost-effective, efficient manner.

The workshop topics include project timelines, best management practices, landowner costs, farm plan requirements and how to obtain the necessary permit from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention honors local health advocates

February 23, 2012

NEW — 5:45 p.m. Feb. 23, 2012

King County earned some recognition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public health efforts related to obesity prevention and tobacco use, officials announced Thursday.

The 18 local honorees included Issaquah resident Christopher “Kit” Ledbetter, municipal parks and recreation director in SeaTac. Ledbetter earned recognition from the CDC as a champion for tobacco-free parks in the South King County city. The effort brings together teenagers, law enforcement officers, maintenance crews and other partners.

(Ledbetter is also the sole candidate for a King Conservation District board seat.)

King County Executive Dow Constantine, a leader in environmental protection, public transit and government reform, also earned recognition from the CDC.

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Issaquah man is sole candidate in King Conservation District election

February 21, 2012

The election for a King Conservation District board seat starts Feb. 28 and, although only a lone candidate appears on the ballot, district voters in Issaquah and elsewhere can cast ballots online.

The monthlong election is for a supervisor seat on the board of the conservation district — the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and providing information and technical assistance to landowners.

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Pickering Barn garden gets $19,000 grant for upgrade

February 14, 2012

The city has received a $19,000 grant from the King Conservation District to improve the Pickering Barn Demonstration Garden — a showcase for organic gardening and a source for the local food bank.

In addition to garden upgrades, officials intend to use grant dollars to improve the site and add more educational components. Seattle Tilth, a regional leader in sustainable organic gardening and public education in natural yard care practices, oversees the garden’s education component.

Plans call for the expanded education component to operate alongside the Issaquah School District and the municipal Parks & Recreation Department. The school district program aims to provide in-classroom teaching, teacher training and transportation for schoolchildren from campuses to the garden. The program through the parks department calls for classes in the garden for after-school community programs. The grant is meant to help transport children to the garden for the program.

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King Conservation District offers soil testing for local lands

September 13, 2011

Homeowners can take advantage of free soil tests from the King Conservation District.

The conservation district offers up to five free soil studies per address for anyone within King County, with a few geographic exceptions. The exceptions do not affect anyone in the Issaquah area.

One main idea behind soil sampling is to prevent overfertilization, said Marcie Myers, a resource planner for the King Conservation District.

And, she added, there are several reasons why using too much fertilizer is a bad idea.

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Planners propose 11 projects to restore chinook, kokanee habitat

August 23, 2011

On the East Fork of Issaquah Creek at Third Avenue Northeast and Northeast Creek Way, plans call for the rockery bank wall to be removed and a log weir to be created. By Greg Farrar

Creeks leading to Lake Sammamish could serve as staging areas in the years ahead for a bold plan to restore salmon habitat.

The regional Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group has proposed 11 projects in Issaquah and Sammamish to restore habitat for chinook salmon — a species protected under the Endangered Species Act — and dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon.

The once-abundant kokanee has declined in recent decades, perhaps due to construction near creeks, increased predators, disease or changes in water quality. Scientists estimated the total 2010 run at 58 fish, including the 40 kokanee spawned at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery in a last-ditch effort to save the species.

The proposed projects range from colossal — such as rerouting Laughing Jacobs Creek through Lake Sammamish State Park — to small — adding plants in the Lewis Creek delta, for instance.

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