A watershed is the land area that drains to a river or lake. Defined by ridge tops and high points, all the water that falls within our area will eventually drain to the Columbia River. The Pend Oreille River watershed is the largest in the District with many smaller sub-watersheds, such as the Skookum and Calispel watersheds.

Protect Riparian areas:

Plant native trees and shrubs to trap pollutants, runoff and to shade streams. DO NOT REMOVE the existing native plant community. Control livestock/animal access to streams, ponds and wetlands from overgrazing and trampling of soils by properly fencing in pastures. Avoid construction in Riparian areas. This may cause chemicals or waste to flush into the stream or water body. Keep all trash, and debris, including lawn wastes, away from surface waters. Don’t pour soapy water, oil, pain, household chemicals or pesticides down storm drains. Drains often feed directly into streams, rivers or lakes. Keep pet waste away from streams, riparian areas and paved areas. Use less or non-toxic household cleaners, try baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar. Don’t divert water to build a pond or irrigate without obtaining the proper permits.

Use Plants to Stabilize Banks

Healthy riparian zones contain a variety of plants including trees, shrubs, grasses and other ground covers. Native plants are adapted to local rainfall, climate, insects and soil types, and tend to be easier to care for because they need less water and other inputs, such as pesticides. Some common types of riparian plants are: Western Red Cedar, Black Cottonwood, Willows, Red Osier Dogwood, Mt. Maple, Mt. Alder, Douglas Spirea, Cascara, Blue Elderberry, Pacific Ninebark, Oceanspray, Nootka and Woods Rose, Beaked Hazelnut, and Quaking Aspen.

What is a Native Plant?

Native plants are plants that occur naturally in the local area and are adapted to the seasons and growing conditions here. There are many benefits to using native plants in your landscaping. See below for ideas.

Why landscape with Native Plants?


Invasive weeds are a big problem across much of the country. Many of these invasive weeds were first planted as garden ornamentals, which then escaped into the natural landscape, wreaking havoc on native plant population.


In the west, 60% of water used outdoors is consumed by lawns. Consider digging up portions of your lawn that you tend to have the most trouble with, and plant with drought tolerant native plants. Because native plants are already adapted to the pests and soils of the area, they require little, if any, pesticides or fertilizers.

Pend Oreille Conservation District or your local native plant nursery can help you choose the right plants for your landscaping needs.


Native plant landscapes tend to take care of themselves. Replanting a lawn with native plants reduces time spent mowing, raking, and watering.


Use native plants to attract native wildlife like birds and butterflies into your yard.


There are lots of beautiful and unique native flowers, trees, and shrubs to choose from.


Native plants help control erosion and reduce run-off, keeping sediments and pollutants out of waterways.