Contact Info

Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Instagram   |   Vimeo   |   LinkedIn

Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission

The Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission (the Commission) was established under an agreement between the Province of BC and the City of Seattle as a condition within the Ross Lake/Seven Mile Reservoir Treaty between the United States and Canada signed in 1984 (Appendix D). The treaty and agreement are in effect until 2064.


Skagit Oral History Project 1
Skagit Oral History Project 2

The Commission, as stipulated under treaty, consists of four Commissioners and four Alternate Commissioners from both Canada and the United States for a total of sixteen. The Commissioners are appointed by the Premier of British Columbia and the Mayor of Seattle. The Commission is led by joint co-chairs, one from each country.

The Commission was created with the purpose of managing the Skagit Environmental Endowment Fund, which was established in 1984 for the following purposes (Article 1):

  1. To conserve and protect wilderness and wildlife habitat
  2. To enhance recreational opportunities in the Skagit Valley
  3. To acquire mineral or timber rights consistent with conservation and recreational purposes
  4. To conduct studies of need and feasibility of projects
  5. To plan for and construct hiking trails, foot bridges, interpretive displays and the like
  6. To cause the removal of stumps and snags in Ross lake and on the shoreline as deemed appropriate, and the grooming and contouring of the shoreline, consistent with wildlife habitat protection
  7. To connect, if feasible, Manning Provincial Park and the North Cascades National Park by a trail system

The Commission focuses its work through four program areas : Education, Recreation, Ecosystem Science and Watershed Integrity. Approximately US$500,000 per annum is dedicated to program work. Examples include:


  • Funding of international interpretation program in Skagit Valley Provincial Park;
  • Support funding to Park Interpretation programs in Manning Provincial Park;
  • Program support funding to both the North Cascades Institute and Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning
  • Support funding to both the US national Park Service and BC Parks for recreational service enhancements including new trail construction and support of Youth Programs (Student Conservation Association) and volunteer support programs
    Ecosystem Science

    • Funding of water quality monitoring of the Skagit River headwaters;
    • Fisheries research including recreational use and habitat monitoring;
    • Vegetation research including Whitebark pine monitoring;
    • funding support for Indigenous studies e.g. Hozomeen Chert
    Watershed Integrity

  • Funding to special initiatives related to securing and conserving wilderness and wildlife habitat .e.g. working toward acquiring outstanding mineral and/or forest tenures related to crown land areas within the watershed (Donut Hole);
  • Supporting the US National Park Service on Environmental Impact Statement related to augmentation of Grizzly Bears into the North Cascades.

    The upper Skagit Watershed encompasses the traditional and unceded territories of the Sto:lo, Nlaka’pamux and Lower Similkameen indigenous peoples in Canada, and the Upper Skagit, Sauke-Suiattle and Swinomish tribes in the United States.

    In Canada, approximately 67% of the Skagit watershed is under some form of conservation designation or protected area status.

    In the United States, 100% of the Skagit watershed is under protected status within the US National Park Service, or the US National Forest Service.

    Upper Skagit Watershed Map

    The watershed sustains critical habitat for several rare and endangered species moving back and forth across the international border. Northern Spotted Owl and Bull Trout are examples of species specific to this watershed.