The Methow Watershed Council
Created in 1999, by authority of the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Methow Watershed Council educates the public about water-related issues and advises local water managers, including Okanogan County, local towns, and tribes. In 2005 the Council completed, and the Okanogan County commissioners adopted, the Methow Watershed Plan. In 2009 details for implementing that plan were approved. Now the Council serves as a locally based, knowledgeable board acknowledged by government agencies and organizations as an effective group working to ensure the best possible water management for the Methow Basin.
The Methow River Basin (WRIA 48) is located in Okanogan County in north central Washington. The Methow River occupies a deep valley draining the eastern slope of the north Cascade Mountains and forms an important tributary to the Columbia River. Tributaries to the Methow River include Lost, Chewuch, and Twisp Rivers, Early Winters Creek and numerous smaller streams. Approximately 84 percent of WRIA 48 is owned by the Federal Government, primarily managed by the United States Forest Service. Approximately 5 percent of WRIA 48 is owned by Washington State including about 35,000 acres owned by the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Fish and Wildlife, and approximately 11 percent of WRIA 48 is private lands. Private lands are primarily located in alluvial valleys of the Methow and lower Twisp and Chewuch Rivers. Land use is primarily forest and range land in the uplands and residential and agriculture in the lowlands.