The National Wildlife Federation

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Protecting the Yakima River Basin

In eastern Washington State lies the Yakima River basin, extending from the peaks of the Cascade Mountains to the Columbia River. It’s a spectacular landscape, home to a rich diversity of fish and wildlife, and the state's most productive agricultural area.

Salmon once ran up the Yakima by the hundreds of thousands, but a century of agricultural development pushed the fish to the brink of extinction. Climate change has exacerbated the situation by reducing snowpack and making water supplies even more unreliable.

Our Work

Faced with this bleak future, the National Wildlife Federation and other stakeholders formulated the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, under the joint auspices of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Ecology. The Yakima Basin Integrated Plan is a unique landscape-scale project, supported by government at all levels from local to federal, the Yakama Nation, conservationists, and many community organizations.

This innovative and balanced plan involves:

While the Yakima plan has far to go as it moves through Congressional and State Legislature authorization and funding—it represents the best hope for the fish, farms, and families of Washington State.

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Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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Regional Centers and Affiliates