About the Local Integrating Organization (LIO)
The Snohomish-Stillaguamish Local Integrating Organization (PDF) (Sno-Stilly LIO) is one of nine LIOs in the Puget Sound region. (view map (PDF)) It was established in March 2012 and subsequently recognized by the Puget Sound Partnership. The geographic area covered by the Sno-Stilly LIO includes the Snohomish River watershed (WRIA 7) and the Stillaguamish River watershed (WRIA 5). For a summary of the main concepts and goals of our integrated planning framework, please view our brochure (PDF).
The LIO is funded by a $75,000 annual grant from Puget Sound Partnership (PSP). Under the terms of an interagency agreement, the LIO submits quarterly reports to PSP to document use of these funds.
The purpose of the Sno-Stilly LIO is to serve as a local forum through which diverse stakeholders can work collaboratively to develop and coordinate actions to improve the health of the Snohomish and Stillaguamish watersheds, advance the Puget Sound Action Agenda, and restore the environmental health of Puget Sound.
The Sno-Stilly LIO is tasked with the following responsibilities:
- Coordinate with the Puget Sound Partnership and other Puget Sound LIOs.
- Facilitate the integration of local strategies and actions that advance the planning and implementation of the 2016 Puget Sound Action Agenda.
- Engage the local community to identify and prioritize local actions with a focus on addressing state identified strategic initiatives.
- Facilitate collaborative opportunities among member organizations and support funding requests.
New Organizational Structure
In November of 2016, representatives from the Stillaguamish and Tulalip Tribes, Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) King County, Snohomish County, and the watershed groups (Snoqualmie Forum, Snohomish Forum, and the Stillaguamish Watershed Council) met with the Snohomish County Executive to discuss the issues surrounding the organizational structure of the LIO. The specific issue discussed was whether or not to split the LIO by watershed boundary as opposed to the current combined basin approach. At the November meeting, all representatives agreed to evaluate the organizational structure of the LIO over the next year to come up with a recommendation. The LIO Structure Subcommittee was formed in the beginning of 2017. The subcommittee consisted of representatives from the both the Stillaguamish and Snohomish basins, including Lead Entity and LIO representatives. The subcommittee met five times over the last year, the final meeting being 8/31/2017.
In December of 2017, the staff recommendation, as supported by the LIO IC, was presented to the LIO Executive Committee (EC) for final approval. The LIO EC approved this restructure for implementation in 2018. The concept maintains one LIO but has two, basin-specific Implementation Committees. It preserves cross-basin coordination within the EC and expands the implementation capacity/authority with the Stillaguamish Watershed Council (SWC) being the Stillaguamish IC. Under this model, the EC would function as the primary decision-making body for recovery aspects outside the salmon recovery purview (i.e. NTA funding recommendations). The SWC would take on a central role as the Stillaguamish IC and coordinating directly with the Snohomish IC. Salmon project decisions would remain with the SWC and Snohomish Forum. The SWC approved this structure for the next year.
The staff recommendation is to spend the next year testing out utilization of the SWC as the implementing body for the Stillaguamish basin, while maintaining the cross-basin/combined Executive Committee.
The Snohomish-Stillaguamish LIO is now comprised of three groups: the Executive Committee, the Stillaguamish Implementation Committee (SWC) and the Snohomish Implementation Committee. These groups operate under adopted bylaws (PDF) as well as the terms of a grant contract and work program managed by the LIO Coordinator with support from the Partnership. Snohomish County is the fiscal agent for the local contract and provides staff support to the LIO committees.
Committee meetings are typically held at the Snohomish County Administration Building in Everett. These meetings are open to the public with opportunity for public comment.
The Executive Committee is the primary decision-making body for the LIO and includes representatives from the Tulalip and Stillaguamish Tribes, King and Snohomish Counties, the Port and City of Everett, and cities in the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, and Stillaguamish basins.
The Implementation Committees (PDF), which were assembled to provide a broad working knowledge of local recovery actions and capabilities, makes recommendations to the Executive Committee to help advance the Puget Sound Action Agenda.
Implementation Committee Subcommittee
Subcommittees are established on an informal basis as needed to serve a particular purpose, such as studying an issue in depth. Subcommittee membership varies, depending on the purpose of the subcommittee.
Letters of Endorsement
The Sno-Stilly LIO regularly receives requests for letters of endorsement for local projects under consideration for state or federal funding. In order to provide predictability and fairness to all project sponsors, the LIO has established a policy (PDF) for producing these letters.