Re: “Quinault Indian Nation opposes new dam on Chehalis, seeks alternatives” [April 16, Northwest]:
As a resident of Lewis County, I appreciate the leadership of the Quinault Nation opposing a massive dam proposed for the Chehalis River. Gratitude should also go to the Chehalis Tribe for its opposition.
The Chehalis River is an aquatic artery pumping life into the heart of southwest Washington — life that includes rich soil for farming, cold water for fish and habitat for wildlife from elk to cougars. We need a shared vision to restore the Chehalis and reduce flood risks, but a dam is not the solution.
The Washington state Department of Ecology’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement makes it clear the dam would be devastating for salmon, especially Chinook, and for wildlife like endangered marbled murrelets. It also fails to address disruption to wildlife corridors that animals need to thrive.
I sincerely empathize with concerns about flooding, but I believe emphasis must be placed on restoration strategies that reduce risks to local communities while restoring forests and floodplains.
If you feel strongly about this issue, please submit comments or concerns by May 27 to chehalisbasinstrategy.com/eis/comment-form/
Brian Stewart, Onalaska, Cascades to Olympics Program Representative for Conservation Northwest