Pierce County engineer will lead regional natural resource protection

Jeff Rudolph of the Pierce County Road Operations Maintenance Engineering section has been selected to lead a regional group that focuses on best management practices and protection of natural resources.

Rudolph will serve as Regional Forum chairman of the Regional Road Maintenance Endangered Species Act Program. He succeeds outgoing chair Debbie Arima of King County.

The Regional Forum includes one representative from each of the 30 participating Regional Program member agencies. They meet quarterly to discuss developments in road maintenance best management practices and ongoing work with federal resource-protection agencies.

The Regional Road Maintenance ESA Program was created in 2002 in response to federal listings of Puget Sound chinook salmon and bull trout as “threatened.” Twenty-four Washington state agencies submitted a joint road maintenance program to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval under the ESA section 4(d) rule. The maintenance program describes physical, structural, and managerial best practices that reduce road maintenance impacts on water quality and fish habitat. The Regional Forum continues to work with state and federal agencies to determine best ways to minimize impacts to federally protected species.

The 30 member agencies include the cities of Bellevue, Bremerton, Burien, Covington, Edgewood, Everett, Kenmore, Kent, Lake Forest Park, Lakewood, Maple Valley, Mill Creek, Monroe, Newcastle, Poulsbo, Renton, Sammamish, Shoreline, SeaTac, Tacoma and University Place; Clallam, Clark, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Snohomish, and Thurston counties; and the Washington State Department of Transportation.