Sunday, April 10, 2016
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Say No to Dam Building and New Water Rights in the Alpine Lakes - March 30th at the Phinney Center in Seattle
Come show your support for Wilderness values!
PLEASE ATTEND an environmental scoping meeting for water projects affecting the
Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
WHEN: Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 PM
WHERE: Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Avenue N, Seattle 98103 (just west of Green Lake)
Two government agencies (State Department of Ecology and Chelan County) are now evaluating
whether to build dams, manipulate water levels, and issue water rights for several lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Their goal is to extract more water for “new home construction” (a.k.a. suburban
development) in the City of Leavenworth and elsewhere in the Wenatchee Valley.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness needs YOU! This is serious business: the proposed plan would cost an estimated $65 million, and the state Legislature has allocated $3 million for preliminary analysis.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a wild area many people use and care about. But the project proponents appear oblivious to the presence of wilderness issues, and they would rename the Alpine Lakes as “reservoirs”.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, which must also prepare an
environmental analysis to ensure protection of wilderness values. Although this federal process has not started, the Forest Service will closely monitor public input at the Ecology/Chelan County meetings.
There are three opportunities to tell the agencies that the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a shared natural
resource that must be respected and protected.
The Seattle public meeting on March 30, 7 PM, at Phinney Center (see info above).
A Leavenworth public meeting on April 20, 2016, 4-8 PM, at Leavenworth Fire Hall.
A public comment deadline of May 11, 2016. Comments go to firstname.lastname@example.org
More information, including environmental documents, can be found on the agency websites:
For critical analysis, see the NAIADS blog: https://naiads.wordpress.com/
Get involved in protecting your Wilderness! Contact Alpine Lakes Protection Society (ALPS) at:
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
A 65,000 acre “Project Area,” of which 6,750 acres are to be thinned in the S. Fk. Stilly drainage! This is the popular west side of the Mountain Loop Scenic Byway, just east of Granite Falls, an hour's drive from Seattle, and a very popular recreational area.
We urge you to send your comments to MBS opposing this project immediately. You might note that “Vegetation Management” = logging.
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (MBS) is beginning the environmental analysis for the South Fork Stillaguamish Vegetation Project. This project proposes a landscape scale thinning of second-growth stands within the S.F. of the Stillaguamish River drainage, including Canyon Creek. You are invited to review the proposed project and provide comment on what issues the analysis should address.
This vegetation management project is located on the Darrington Ranger District, east of Granite Falls in Snohomish County, Washington. The project would thin second-growth timber stands within the S.F. Stillaguamish River drainage to promote forest stand structure that would serve as habitat for old-growth associated species and maintain and enhance Riparian Reserve conditions.
Additional information on the proposed project is posted on the Forest web site S.F. Stillaguamish Vegetation Management Project: http://www.fs.usda.gov/
project/?project=48837In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 36 CFR 220.4(e)(1), USFS is initiating scoping for the project, and is soliciting your input on the proposal and the identification of potential environmental issues associated with the proposed action. Scoping comments will be considered in the environmental analysis, and may be used to modify the proposed action, develop alternatives, identify mitigation measures or analyze environmental consequences. Currently, the project analysis is proposed to be documented in an Environmental Assessment (EA) to be released following the scoping process.
Your scoping comments will be most useful if received by . Emailed comments are encouraged to be sent to: comments-pacificnorthwest-
mtbaker-snoqualmie-darrington@ fs.fed.usComments may also be submitted at the Darrington Ranger Station, mailed to:
Attn: S.F. Stillaguamish Vegetation Project
Darrington Ranger District
1405 Emens Ave. N.
Darrington, WA 98241
Darrington Ranger District office hours for submitting oral, telephone, or hand-delivered comments are Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Comments may also be faxed to (360) 436-1309. For further information, please contact Phyllis Reed at (360) 436-2332.
Comments received in response to this invitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the Project Record and available for public review. We appreciate your continued interest in the management of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Members will see their copies arrive in a week or so. Not a member? JOIN US!
Military “incursions” threaten all northwest
Yakima Plan update
Revising the Northwest Forest Plan
NCCC responds to “Darrington Collaborative” proposals
Remembering Wolf Bauer
In Memoriam: Margaret Miller
Cascade Rambles: RIP Queen of the Middle Fork
Murray receives Alpine Lakes recognition
Varying views on grizzlies: responses to McGuire
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Sunday, January 10, 2016
New hydropower development is allowed in protected river reaches only if it can provide some sort of extraordinary environmental benefit. It is hard to see how this project could do so.
On that other side of the river we saw where water from Canyon Springs, located somewhere up the slope, came pouring down in surprising volume. Somewhere up above us was a pipeline taking water from the springs to supply part of the City of Snoqualmie’s needs.
It is hard to see what possible benefits can be claimed for taking water out of the North Fork Snoqualmie. Yet the proponents forge ahead, acting as if the NRCA and NWPCC designations mean nothing.
Monday, December 7, 2015
For immediate release, December 7, 2015
Kachess Lake water grab: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation needs to slow down, follow law
Conservationists, Homeowners ask federal dam agency to extend public comment period
- Grant Learned Jr (Friends of Lake Kachess) 206.856-4424 email@example.com
- Jay Schwartz (Friends of Lake Kachess) 206.369-1326 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Karl Forsgaard (Alpine Lakes Protection Society) 206.330-8966 email@example.com
Today multiple conservation and homeowner groups announced that they are requesting the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation extend the period for public comment on impact and alternatives scoping for a proposed “emergency” project that would partially drain Kachess Lake. The Bureau’s proposal is intended to benefit “junior” irrigators in the Yakima Basin. (click to view request letter)
“In the rush to pump Kachess Lake, we are asking federal officials to slow down, play by the rules, and give the public time to understand the impacts on Kachess Lake and costs to irrigators and taxpayers,” said Grant Learned Jr of Friends of Lake Kachess.
The Lake Kachess campground and boat launch are perhaps the busiest in the entire state, just an hour from Seattle. Draining Lake Kachess would harm bull-trout populations while ruining the National Forest campground and lake’s recreational values.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a press release dated November 24, right before the Thanksgiving holiday, announcing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping “workshops” beginning Monday, December 7 in Ellensburg (4-7PM) with a public comment period of less than 30 days (comment deadline: December 18). Conservationists are asking that the Bureau post its scoping notice in the Federal Register and then extend the public comment period to 60 days.
The Bureau’s proposal is intended to provide water to one of the “junior” irrigation districts in the Yakima Basin, Roza Irrigation District. Consistent with “First in time, first in right” in Western Water Law, during water scarce years like 2015 junior water right holders face being regulated, and their water curtailed from the federal irrigation project. Senior water-right holders receive 100 percent of their water. Conservationists have long encouraged that the solution to water scarcity in the Yakima Basin is to plant appropriate crops, use water markets and water banks to better share water between all irrigators, and to aggressively pursue water conservation to end water waste and inefficiencies.
“We cannot and should not sacrifice Kachess Lake to make up for wasteful, inefficient irrigation in the Yakima Basin,” said Grant Learned Jr, a leader with Friends of Lake Kachess.
Although reservoirs are filling with recent rain and snowstorms, Washington State Dept of Ecology has continued its “drought emergency,” thereby trying to allow state and federal agencies to move forward with the Kachess Lake pumping project, skirting environmental laws. The Department of Ecology has not announced any review of this project under the State Environmental Policy Act. Diesel generators are being considered to run pumps, raising concerns about air, water, and noise pollution for this mountain lake.
The Kachess Lake pumping proposal being expedited by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is not part of the $5 billion 2012 Yakima “Integrated” Water Plan. Led by Senator Maria Cantwell, Congress is currently considering legislation based on the Yakima Plan. Six years in the making at a cost of tens of millions of tax dollars, the Yakima Plan does not include the Roza District’s proposed “Kachess Emergency Temporary Floating Pumping Plant (KETFPP) Project.” The Bureau’s November 24 news release states that project name, including the word “Temporary,” but given the project’s reported cost of $58 million, the funders will presumably want to use the pump as much as they can, and not just on a “temporary” basis.
“This is crazy to try an ‘end run’ around the supposedly ‘integrated’ Yakima Plan and Workgroup processes that the Bureau, Roza, and others set up – not even mentioning them in the Bureau’s news release,” said Karl Forsgaard of the Alpine Lakes Protection Society.
“The Kachess Lake water grab underscores that water flows uphill to money and power in the Yakima Basin,” said Jay Schwartz of Friends of Lake Kachess. “Kachess Lake belongs to the public. We are asking the Bureau of Reclamation to follow the law, and open the process to the public.”
- Request letter from Conservationists and Homeowners to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Dec. 7, 2015