Nisqually River Council, partners developing plan for water trail

The Nisqually River Council is starting to develop a plan for a Nisqually River water trail and is looking for people who want to help.

“Right now, we are willing to consider everything, all aspects of river access,” said Morgan Greene, program coordinator.

An advisory committee has met twice, and Greene is asking those interested in helping in the planning process to contact the council.

During the next 18-24 months, the council hopes to develop a plan for a water trail from below the LaGrande Dam to the Nisqually delta. Such a water trail would consist of a series of access points and stopping points along the river.

The approximately 40-mile stretch is already open to human-powered boats, but Greene says awareness of access points seems quite low.

She said ideas will be floated for refurbishing existing access points, spreading awareness about these points and perhaps adding stops that can be reached only by boats.

The council, formed in 1987, works to conserve the Nisqually River watershed. Its partners hold about 75 percent of the river’s shoreline in permanent conservation status.

“Public recreation access to the river, however, is extremely limited, and this project seeks to implement the ‘Recreation/Public Access/Tourism’ goals of the Nisqually Watershed Stewardship Plan that was developed in 2003-04,” the group said in a statement.

The National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program is helping with the planning process.

Greene says implementation of the plan will likely be led by other organizations.

For more information or to help in the planning process, call the council at 360-438-8715 or email morgan@nisquallyriver.org.