Over 5 years ago, KCT was asked by federal, state, and other partners working to preserve bull trout in the upper Yakima Basin to apply for funding to study Gold Creek and assess the hydrology, habitat, and geomorphic history of the system. Our task was to gather data on the area to provide to the agencies tasked with making decisions on Gold Creek. To do this work, we hired experts, Natural Systems Design, an engineering firm who specializes in river restoration, to gather and analyze data and create conceptual designs.

Our role is not to decide what restoration takes place in Gold Creek Valley. Our role, as a community-based conservation organization is to bring in the right experts (engineers, biologists, geomorphologists, etc.) to identify what the problems are and map out potential solutions. The US Forest Service will use the data we collected and other existing science to make an informed decision that takes into account many perspectives. The public will be able to weigh in on the various alternatives. Once they make a decision, we will work with the Forest Service to implement the selected alternative. Our small, two-person team is not in the position to make these decisions but is committed to working with our partners to continue protecting and restoring habitat in the Upper Yakima River Basin.