The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
“Anadromous fish” means fish that spawn and rear in freshwater and mature in the marine environment.
“Best available science” means current scientific information used in the process to designate, protect, or restore critical areas, that is derived from a valid scientific process as defined by WAC 365-195-900 through 365-195-925. Sources of best available science are included in “Best Available Science For the City of Cle Elum, Washington” dated October 28, 2020, or as amended.
“Buffer” means an area contiguous to and protecting a critical area that is required for the continued maintenance, functioning, and/or structural stability of a critical area.
“Channel migration zone (CMZ)” means the area along a river within which the channel(s) can be reasonably predicted to migrate over time as a result of natural and normally occurring hydrological and related processes when considered with the characteristics of the river and its surroundings.
“Compensatory mitigation” means replacing project-induced critical areas losses or impacts, and includes, but is not limited to, restoration, creation, enhancement, and/or preservation.
“Creation” means actions performed to intentionally establish a critical area at a site where it did not formerly exist.
“Critical aquifer recharge area (CARA)” means an area designated by WAC 365-190-100 that is determined to have a critical recharging effect on aquifers (i.e., maintain the quality and quantity of water) used for potable water as defined by WAC 365-190-030(3). These areas include the following:
1. Wellhead protection areas;
2. Sole source aquifers;
3. Susceptible groundwater management areas;
4. Special protection areas;
5. Moderately or highly vulnerable aquifer recharge areas; and
6. Moderately or highly susceptible aquifer recharge areas.
“Enhancement” means actions performed within an existing degraded shoreline, critical area, and/or buffer to intentionally increase or augment one or more ecological functions or values of the existing area. Enhancement actions include, but are not limited to, increasing plant diversity and cover; increasing wildlife habitat and structural complexity (snags, woody debris); installing environmentally compatible erosion controls; or removing nonindigenous plant or animal species.
“Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas” are areas that serve a critical role in sustaining needed habitats and species for the functional integrity of the ecosystem, and which, if altered, may reduce the likelihood that the species will persist over the long term. These areas may include, but are not limited to, rare or vulnerable ecological systems, communities, and habitat or habitat elements including seasonal ranges, breeding habitat, winter range, and movement corridors, and areas with high relative population density or species richness. Counties and cities may also designate locally important habitats and species.
1. “Habitats of local importance” designated as fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas include those areas found to be locally important by counties and cities.
2. “Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas” does not include such artificial features or constructs as irrigation delivery systems, irrigation infrastructure, irrigation canals, or drainage ditches that lie within the boundaries of, and are maintained by, a port district or an irrigation district or company.
“Floodplain” means all areas subject to inundation by the base flood, but outside the limits of the floodway. Those portions of the A, AE, AH, and shaded X zones not defined as floodway, and that portion of a pothole and FEMA shaded X zone area that is between zero feet (base flood elevation) and three feet in depth.
“Floodway” means all areas designated as regulatory floodways, potholes and shaded X zones that are three feet or greater in depth, and active stream channels.
“Frequently flooded areas” means lands in the floodplain subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year, or within areas subject to flooding due to high groundwater and those lands that provide important flood storage, conveyance, and attenuation functions. These areas include, but are not limited to, streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and areas where high groundwater forms ponds on the ground surface, and Crystal Creek and ephemeral drainages identified by DNR and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“Geologically hazardous area” means an area that is not suited to commercial, residential, or industrial development because of its susceptibility to erosion, sliding, earthquakes, or other geological events hazardous to public health or safety.
“In-kind compensation” means to replace critical areas with substitute areas whose characteristics and functions closely approximate those destroyed or degraded by a regulated activity. The determination of in-kind versus out-of-kind compensation for wetlands is dependent upon equivalency in wetland functions, not wetland categories.
“Mitigation” means avoiding, minimizing or compensating for adverse critical areas impacts. Mitigation, in the following order of preference, is:
1. Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;
2. Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation, by using appropriate technology, or by taking affirmative steps, such as project redesign, relocation, or timing, to avoid or reduce impacts;
3. Rectifying the impact to wetlands, critical aquifer recharge areas, and habitat conservation areas by repairing, rehabilitating or restoring the affected environment to the conditions existing at the time of the initiation of the project;
4. Minimizing or eliminating the hazard by restoring or stabilizing the hazard area through engineered or other methods;
5. Reducing or eliminating the impact or hazard over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action;
6. Compensating for the impact to wetlands, critical aquifer recharge areas, and habitat conservation areas by replacing, enhancing, or providing substitute resources or environments; and
7. Monitoring the hazard or other required mitigation and taking remedial action when necessary.
Mitigation for individual actions may include a combination of the above measures.
“Moderately or highly susceptible aquifer recharge areas” means aquifer recharge areas moderately or highly susceptible to degradation or depletion because of hydrogeologic characteristics are those areas meeting the criteria established by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology).
“Moderately or highly vulnerable aquifer recharge areas” means aquifer recharge areas that are moderately or highly vulnerable to degradation or depletion because of hydrogeologic characteristics are those areas delineated by a hydrogeologic study prepared in accordance with Ecology guidelines.
“Monitoring” means evaluating the impacts of development proposals on the biological, hydrological, and geological elements of such systems and assessing the performance of required mitigation measures throughout the collection and analysis of data by various methods for the purpose of understanding and documenting changes in natural ecosystems and features and includes gathering baseline data.
“Ordinary high water mark (OHWM)” on all lakes, rivers, and streams means that mark that will be found by examining the bed and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a character distinct from that of the abutting upland, in respect to vegetation as that condition exists on June 1, 1971, as it may naturally change thereafter, or as it may change thereafter in accordance with permits issued by a local government or Ecology.
“Priority habitat” means a habitat type with a unique or significant value to one or more species. An area classified and mapped as priority habitat must have one or more of the following attributes: comparatively high fish or wildlife densities; comparatively high fish or wildlife species diversity; fish spawning habitat; important wildlife habitat; important fish or wildlife seasonal range; important fish or wildlife movement corridors; rearing and foraging habitat; refuge; limited availability; high vulnerability to habitat alteration; unique or dependent species; or shellfish beds. A priority habitat may be described by its unique vegetation type or by a dominant plant species that is of primary importance to fish and wildlife (such as oak woodlands or eelgrass meadows). A priority habitat may also be described by a successional stage (such as old growth and mature forests). Alternatively, a priority habitat may consist of a specific habitat element (such as talus slopes, caves, snags) of key value to fish and wildlife. A priority habitat may contain priority and/or nonpriority fish and wildlife (WAC 173-26-020(28)).
“Priority species” means species requiring protective measures and/or management guidelines to ensure their persistence at genetically viable population levels. Priority species are those that meet any of the criteria listed in WAC 173-26-020(29).
“Qualified professional” means a person with experience and training in the pertinent scientific discipline, and who is a qualified scientific expert with expertise appropriate for the relevant critical area subject in accordance with WAC 365-195-905(4). A qualified professional must have obtained a B.S. or B.A. or equivalent degree in biology, engineering, environmental studies, fisheries, geomorphology, or related field, and have at least five years’ related work experience.
1. A qualified professional for wetlands must be a professional wetland scientist with at least two years of full-time work experience as a wetlands professional, including delineating wetlands using the state or federal manuals, preparing wetlands reports, conducting function assessments, and developing and implementing mitigation plans.
2. A qualified professional for habitat must have a degree in biology or a related degree and professional experience related to the subject species.
3. A qualified professional for a geological hazard must be a professional engineer or geologist, licensed in the state of Washington.
4. A qualified professional for critical aquifer recharge areas means a hydrogeologist, geologist, engineer, or other scientist with experience in preparing hydrogeologic assessments.
“Rehabilitation” means a type of restoration action intended to repair natural or historic functions and processes. Activities could involve breaching a dike to reconnect wetlands to a floodplain or other activities that restore the natural water regime.
“Restore,” “restoration” or “ecological restoration” means the reestablishment or upgrading of impaired ecological shoreline processes or functions. This may be accomplished through measures including, but not limited to, revegetation, removal of intrusive shoreline structures and removal or treatment of toxic materials. Restoration does not imply a requirement for returning the shoreline area to aboriginal or pre-European settlement conditions.
“Riparian” means alongside a water body: stream, river, lake, pond, bay, sea, and ocean. Riparian areas are sometimes referred to by different names: riparian ecosystems, riparian habitats, riparian corridors, or riparian zones.
“Riparian management zone (RMZ)” means a delineable area defined in a land use regulation; often synonymous with riparian buffer. For the purposes of this chapter, RMZ is defined as the area that has the potential to provide full riparian functions. In many forested regions of the state this area occurs within one two-hundred-year site-potential tree height (SPTH) measured from the edge of the stream channel. In situations where a channel migration zone is present, this occurs within one site-potential tree height measured from the edges of the channel migration zone. In nonforest zones the RMZ is defined by the greater of the outermost point of the riparian vegetative community or the pollution removal function, at one hundred feet.
“Site-potential tree height” means the average maximum height of the tallest dominant trees for a given age and site class.
“Sole source aquifers” means areas that have been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
“Special protection areas” means those areas defined by WAC 173-200-090.
“Susceptible groundwater management areas” means areas that have been designated as moderately or highly vulnerable or susceptible in an adopted groundwater management program developed pursuant to Chapter 173-100 WAC.
“Type F waters” means segments of natural waters other than Type S waters, which are within the bankfull widths of defined channels and periodically inundated areas of their associated wetlands, or within lakes, ponds, or impoundments having a surface area of one-half acre or greater at seasonal low water and which in any case contain fish habitat or are described by one of the following categories:
1. Waters which are diverted for domestic use by more than ten residential or camping units or by a public accommodation facility licensed to serve more than ten persons, where such diversion is determined by the department to be a valid appropriation of water and the only practical water source for such users. Such waters shall be considered to be Type F water upstream from the point of such diversion for one thousand five hundred feet or until the drainage area is reduced by fifty percent, whichever is less;
2. Waters which are diverted for use by federal, state, tribal or private fish hatcheries. Such waters shall be considered Type F water upstream from the point of diversion for one thousand five hundred feet, including tributaries if highly significant for protection of downstream water quality. The department may allow additional harvest beyond the requirements of Type F water designation provided the department determines after a landowner-requested on-site assessment by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ecology, the affected tribes and interested parties that:
a. The management practices proposed by the landowner will adequately protect water quality for the fish hatchery; and
b. Such additional harvest meets the requirements of the water type designation that would apply in the absence of the hatchery;
3. Waters which are within a federal, state, local, or private campground having more than ten camping units; provided, that the water shall not be considered to enter a campground until it reaches the boundary of the park lands available for public use and comes within one hundred feet of a camping unit, trail or other park improvement;
4. Riverine ponds, wall-based channels, and other channel features that are used by fish for off-channel habitat. These areas are critical to the maintenance of optimum survival of fish. This habitat shall be identified based on the following criteria:
a. The site must be connected to a fish habitat stream and accessible during some period of the year; and
b. The off-channel water must be accessible to fish.
Crystal Creek is a Type F stream throughout its length in the city of Cle Elum.
“Type Np water” mean all segments of natural waters within the bankfull width of defined channels that are perennial nonfish habitat streams. Perennial steams are flowing waters that do not go dry any time of a year of normal rainfall and include the intermittent dry portions of the perennial channel below the uppermost point of perennial flow.
“Type Ns water” means all segments of natural waters within the bankfull width of the defined channels that are not Type S, F, or Np waters. These are seasonal, nonfish habitat streams in which surface flow is not present for a least some portion of a year of normal rainfall and are not located downstream from any stream reach that is a Type Np water. Ns waters must be physically connected by an above-ground channel system to Type S, F, or Np waters.
“Type S waters” means all waters, within their bankfull width, inventoried as “shorelines of the state” under Chapter 90.58 RCW and the rules promulgated pursuant to Chapter 90.58 RCW including periodically inundated areas of their associated wetlands. As of August 2020, the only known Type S waters in Cle Elum are the Yakima and Cle Elum rivers.
“Waters of the state” include lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, inland waters, undergroundwaters, and all other surface waters and watercourses within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington, as classified in RCW 90.48.020.
“Wellhead protection areas” are areas defined by the boundaries of the ten-year time of groundwater travel, or boundaries established using alternate criteria approved by the Department of Health in those settings where groundwater time of travel is not a reasonable delineation criterion, in accordance with WAC 246-290-135.
“Wetland or wetlands” means an area that is inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and other similar areas. Wetlands do not include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland sites, including, but not limited to, irrigation and drainage ditches, grass-lined swales, canals, detention facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, farm ponds, and landscape amenities, or those wetlands created after July 1, 1990, that were unintentionally created as a result of the construction of a road, street or highway. Wetlands may include those artificial wetlands intentionally created from nonwetland areas created to mitigate the conversion of wetlands.