Title 17E Environmental Standards
Chapter 17E.070 Wetlands Protection
Wetlands shall be rated according to the Washington State Department of Ecology wetland rating system found in the Washington State Wetlands Rating System for Eastern Washington 2014 as revised. These rating system documents contain the definitions and methods for determining if the criteria in subsections B through E below are met. In using the rating system the City will not consider aspen-dominated forested wetlands larger than one-fourth acre to be Category I Wetlands unless they also meet one or more of the other criteria for a Category I Wetland.
Category I Wetlands.
These wetlands are not common and make up a small percentage of wetlands in the region. Category I wetlands are those that exhibit these primary characteristics:
Represent a unique or rare wetland type;
Are more sensitive to disturbance than most wetlands;
Are relatively undisturbed and contain ecological attributes that are impossible to replace within a human lifetime; and
Provide a high level of function.
In Eastern Washington, Category I Wetlands include but are not limited to the following examples:
Wetlands of High Conservation Value (formerly called Natural Heritage Wetlands);
Bogs and Calcareous Fens;
Mature and old-growth forested wetlands over one-fourth acre with slow growing trees; and
Wetlands that perform functions at high levels (scores of twenty-two points or more).
Category II Wetlands. Category II wetlands are difficult, although not impossible, to replace and provide high levels of some functions. These wetlands occur more commonly than Category I wetlands, but still need a relatively high level of protection. Category II wetlands include:
forested wetlands in the floodplains of rivers;
mature and old-growth forested wetlands over one-fourth acre with fast growing trees;
vernal pools; and
wetlands that perform functions well (scores between nineteen and twenty-one points).
Category III Wetlands. Category III wetlands generally have been disturbed in some ways, and are often smaller, less diverse and/or more isolated from other natural resources in the landscape than Category II wetlands and may not need as much protection as Category I and II Wetlands. Category III wetlands are:
vernal pools that are isolated; and
wetlands with a moderate level of function (between sixteen and eighteen points).
Category IV Wetlands. Category IV wetlands have the lowest levels of function (less than sixteen points) and are often heavily disturbed. These are wetlands that may be replaced and in some cases improved. These wetlands may provide some important function, and also need to be protected. Category IV wetlands are comprised of one vegetative class other than the forested wetland class.
Date Passed: Monday, June 19, 2017
Effective Date: Sunday, July 30, 2017
ORD C35508 Section 9