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[Portal ID #1790]

Adams County Shoreline Master Program

Summary of the project

Adams County is updating its Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The County’s current SMP was originally created in 1977.  SMPs must be updated in accordance with the Washington State Shoreline Management Act (RCW 90.58) and SMP Guidelines adopted in 2003 (WAC 173-26). Adams County is required to complete the SMP Update by December 2016. The update is being developed with project funding from the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology).

An SMP is a locally prepared set of policies and regulations required by state law that:

  • Encourages appropriate shoreline development;
  • Promotes public access; and
  • Provides environmental protection

SMPs apply to Shorelines of the State, which are defined as streams with greater than 20 cubic feet per second flow and lakes greater than 20 acres in area. In Adams County, these waterbodies include the following:

Streams and Rivers


Palouse River

Alkali/Pines Lake

Morgan Lake

Cow Creek

Black Lake

Owl Lake

Rock Creek

Campbell Lake

Palm Lake

 Lower Crab Creek

Cow Lake

Pit Lakes


Finnell Lake

Royal Lake


Fourth of July Lake

South Teal Lake


Green Lake

Sprague Lake


Hallin Lake

Thread Lake


Herman Lake

"Para North Lake"


Hutchinson Lake

"Para South Lake"


Linda Lake


What is a Shoreline Master Program?

An SMP is a comprehensive shoreline land use plan that:

  • Accommodates appropriate shoreline uses,
  • Protects shoreline ecological functions and processes,
  • Promotes public access on public lands, and
  • Balances public and private interests.


What Geographic Area is Covered by the SMP?

In Adams County, the minimum SMP jurisdiction applies to the following shorelines of the state [RCW 90.58.030]:

  • Segments of streams where the mean annual flow is more than 20 cubic feet per second.

  • Lakes and reservoirs 20 acres and greater in area.

  • Shorelands adjacent to these waterbodies. The minimum shoreline jurisdiction for shorelands is:
    • Lands extending landward 200 feet in all directions from the ordinary high water mark (OHWM), including 200 feet in all directions from the OHWM at the 20 cubic feet per second point. (Shoreline jurisdiction would extend upstream of the 20 cubic feet per second point.)

    • Associated wetlands.


Adams County SMP Update Website

The pages on the website contain the following information:

Updates – When new materials are posted for review, meetings, hearings, or events are scheduled, we will post notices here.

Overview – General information regarding the SMP update.

Contacts – County staff to contact if you have questions or need additional information.

Events – As meetings, hearings, and events are scheduled, we will post information regarding their time and location.

Library – Documents including plans and maps related to the SMP will be updated and posted here.


Hallin Lake on Cow Creek
Rodeo Lake
Lower Crab Creek
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