Re: “Economic, climate crisis demand new Columbia River Treaty” [Opinion, Sept. 30]:
As natural resource director of the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, I would urge Debra Smith of Seattle City Light to focus her attention on the environmental degradation Seattle’s dams have had on the Skagit River before she focuses on Columbia or Snake River dams.
Seattle City Light operates three dams on the Skagit River. In 2020, the so-called “green Seattle City Light” has no fish passage for its dams on my tribe’s river. The hypocrisy of Seattle lecturing our congressional delegation on the Columbia River Treaty given its history of management on the Skagit River is truly shocking. Its dam impacts to salmon are far worse than any hydro project on the Columbia River.
Seattle talks green, but its actions don’t measure up. Historically, Seattle City Light has opposed even studying the feasibility of fish passage. I would urge the Seattle City Council, the Washington Congressional delegation and the citizens of Seattle to take a much closer look at your utility’s environmental practices on the Skagit River system. Seattle City Light’s management has destroyed the river and salmon, and traumatized my people’s culture for more than a century.
Scott Schuyler, Upper Skagit Tribal Member, Sedro-Woolley