[Tweeters] what is the "Lower Columbia Basin" ??

res0y3oz res0y3oz at verizon.net
Thu Jul 27 12:59:14 PDT 2006

Perhaps each government agency writes its own definition. NOAA National Weather Service defines Lower Columbia Basin as including Prosser, The Tri-Cities and Connell. Mid Columbia includes Ritzville, Moses Lake and Ephrata.
I believe that our Lower Columbia Basin Audubon chapter covers all of Benton County but also accepts reports from Franklin and other neighboring counties, especially those areas that are not regularly birded.
I am prone to ridiculous errors when I post anything, and Dennis Rockwell and Nancy LaFranboise usually call to correct me so I am asking--did I get this one right?
Carole Louderback
ronald.louderback at verizon.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Swift
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu ; Wayne C. Weber
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 10:46 AM
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] what is the "Lower Columbia Basin" ??

The Wikipedia definition of the Columbia Basin includes 2 definitions The first is all the Columbia River watershed and the second is a definition that includes the area around the Tri-cities.

see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_Basin

It also refers to the "dry flat region at the centre of the Columbia Basin" as the Columbia River Plateau. Probably geologists have another different defintion for the Columbia Plateau which includes the Palouse.

There is no definition for Lower Columbia Basin.

Wikipedia also defines a river basin to be essentially equivalent to a watershed see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_basin

thanks, Charles.

On 7/27/06, Wayne C. Weber <contopus at telus.net> wrote:
Charles and Tweeters,

Perhaps you should ask the Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society,
based in the Tri-cities, what area they consider to be their turf.
That would be one answer to your question.

I agree that "Lower Columbia Basin" is a term that does not have any
generally-accepted geographic meaning (and therefore, should
probably be avoided). However, in my experience, "Columbia Basin"
does have a generally-accepted meaning. Within Washington, at least, it
means the relatively flat or low-altitude (mainly less than 3000 feet)
areas of the Columbia watershed, east of the Cascades, and excluding
the Blue Mountains, Okanogan Highlands, and mountains of NE
Washington. It does NOT mean the entire watershed of the Columbia
River. For example, no one ever uses this term to refer to any part of
B.C., even though a huge area of B.C. lies within the Columbia

Any comments from the geographers within the group? I am sure
there are maps that have been published somewhere that show the
boundaries of the "Columbia Basin" as a physiographic unit.

Wayne C. Weber
Delta, BC
contopus at telus.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles Swift" <chaetura at gmail.com>
To: <tweeters at u.washington.edu >
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 4:02 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] what is the "Lower Columbia Basin" ??

Howdy -

Mike Denny pointed out an error in North American Birds (NAB) regarding the
status of Black-capped Chickadee in the Lower Columbia Basin. My question
is, what is the Lower Columbia Basin? I have seen it used in a variety
of ways that leads me to suspect the term does not have a standard
definition among birders.

The sighting referred to in the NAB report was in Washtucna
(Adams County) - is this part of the Lower Columbia Basin as the term is
commonly used??

[Technically speaking the Columbia Basin includes the whole watershed which
is huge and the Lower Columbia Basin would include the watershed of a
certain portion of the Columbia which is also probably huge, extending into
Idaho, Oregon, etc. The term as it is commonly used probably applies to
areas within a certain distance of the Columbia River near the tri-cities,
one description I found suggested Dayton, WA to Yakima, WA.]

I suspect BC Chickadee are actually pretty unusual at Washtucna
(probably Mountain Chickadee is more likely at this location than
Black-capped). They are resident in parts of eastern Whitman County and
as Mike pointed out along the Snake River and elsewhere along
the Columbia R.

An eBird generated distribution of BC Chickadee in WA can be see here:

Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura at gmail.com

Charles Swift
Moscow, ID
chaetura at gmail.com


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