Nothing fishy about environmental policy at Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton, Washington
Is your golf course salmon safe? The new Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton, Wash., near Olympia is just that. That’s good news for all of us who like bagels and lox for breakfast before golf. Actually, it’s good news for everyone who likes the environment, no matter your political leanings.
Golf courses have forever been criticized for their large use of land and pesticides, and Salish Cliffs is a good example of how golf can contribute to the environment. On top of that, this Gene Bates designed layout is a really good golf course, too. (You can read my review here.)
Salish Cliffs, the new golf course owned by the Squaxin Island Indian Tribe, has become the first “salmon-safe"-certified golf course in the world, after successfully passing an exhaustive assessment verifying the tribe’s commitment to protecting native habitat, managing water runoff, reducing pesticides, and advancing environmental practices throughout the region.
The program is an offshoot of the popular Northwest eco-label for agricultural and vineyard practices, administered in Washington by the Seattle-based non-profit Stewardship Partners. The program looks at site development practices to protect water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and overall watershed health based on a detailed set of peer-reviewed guidelines.
A highly technical and efficient water treatment system that generates Class A reuse water from Little Creek Casino Resort is exemplary of the detail and effort that Squaxin Island Tribe employed to earn salmon-safe certification at Salish Cliffs. The treated water is stored for its intended use irrigating the course during summer.
“When we decided to build Salish Cliffs, we vowed to uphold our tribal mission to nurture our people and our land and ensure both thrive for generations to come,” said Dave Lopeman, Squaxin Island tribal council chairman. “Creating and maintaining an eco-sensitive course from site planning through ongoing operation was essential to us and the people of Western Washington.”
The independent review process was conducted by a team of experts in the fields of stream ecology, storm water management, golf course design, and landscape management. Salmon-safe assessment validated the tribe’s efforts to protect wetlands and streams, preserve existing trees, and ensure the land is protected.
The tribe has proactively reduced and/or eliminated pesticides used at Salish Cliffs that could be harmful to salmon. And it continues to enhance the wildlife habitat across the site.
Salish Cliffs Golf Club is a new 18-hole championship course and amenity of Little Creek Casino Resort. This is its first full season. It has won several best-in-kind awards from national golf media.
Greens fees through April are $75 (Monday-Thursday) and $85 (Friday-Sunday, holidays) for 18 holes and include golf, cart, range balls before round and all taxes.
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