Comment on Lower Snake River Dams

Stakeholder process through
Governor Inslee’s questionnaire

Thanks to NOOP (North Olympic Orca Pod) for this info!

Please respond to Governor Inslee’s “LSRD Stakeholder Survey” this week if possible.

Background info, including the link to the survey are here

Because Inslee’s consultants have made this process complicated, some folks may want more guidance in filling out the survey. Folks at DamSense have prepared a document as guidance, with the following notes: “Please use DamSense answers as a reference only. It is important that you submit your survey responses in your own words. Feel free to share with your colleagues and networks … We need everyone to complete the survey ASAP as the Draft report will be completed and available for public written comment mid-December,” though comments aren’t technically due till Jan. 24. Inslee’s consultants are planning to issue a draft report later this month for another round of public comments, so individual comments now are important for maximum impact.

Here’s some guidance for the section on native cultural rights that’s stronger than DamSense’s comments: “The LSRDs were a major devastation to native rights and cultures. They destroyed salmon, steelhead, lamprey and sturgeon runs that tribes had relied on for thousands of years. The LSRDs reservoirs ruined riparian plant gathering areas for food and materials. Their reservoirs inundated tribal burial grounds, village sites and sacred areas. None of the affected native peoples were adequately consulted nor consented to the construction and operation of these dams in their traditional living, fishing, hunting and gathering areas.”

Though the Orca Task Force recommended a more scientific and fact-based LSRD analysis, Inslee’s consultant-heavy and complicated process appears to be political pandering to Eastern Washington, and far apart from OTF’s recommendations. But this process is what we have.

A message from the Office of the Governor

Governor Inslee’s office has hired the contractor team of Ross Strategic, Kramer Consulting, White Bluffs Consulting, and Anchor QEA to conduct the Lower Snake River Dams Stakeholder Engagement process. This process was directed by the 2019 Washington state Legislature. The team is providing research, interview, facilitation and report development services, and have been meeting with local, state, tribal, and federal leaders and stakeholders, and reviewing existing documents. A report is under development detailing the potential positive and negative impacts (social, economic, environmental) and opportunities gained and lost from the potential breaching or removal of the Lower Snake River Dams (LSRD), as well as from retaining the dams.

The draft report will be publicly available in mid-December and the public comment period will end at 5:00 pm on January 24, 2020.  In addition to providing public comments on the draft report, an online questionnaire is available.  Interested parties can fill out the questionnaire until the end of the comment period for the draft report. 

Governor Inslee supports this process to hear from diverse voices and collect the range of views in Washington State in regard to the LSRD. He plans to use this information to help craft his recommendations to the federal court-ordered environmental impact statement for the Columbia River Operation System due out for public review in February 2020.

There will be three public workshops after the draft Lower Snake River Dams report is released in mid-December. Details are below.

Purpose: To inform the interested public on the content of the draft report and provide an understanding of the different perspectives. The workshops are an opportunity to learn about the report in preparation of providing written comments by 5:00 pm on Friday, January 24, 2020. 

Format: Presentation of the draft report findings followed by a panel discussion representing different interests. Public comment will not be accepted during the workshops, but audience members can submit written questions that can be asked of the consultants and panel, provided time is available. Written comments on the draft report will be accepted through 5:00 PM on January 24, 2020 through the project website:

Time: Doors open at 6:00 pm, program starts at 6:30 pm, and ends at 8:30 pm, followed by 30 minutes or more of informal conversations.

Public Workshop Dates and Locations
January 7th – Clarkston
Quality Inn & Suites and Quay Convention Center
700 Port Drive
Clarkston, WA 99403

January 9th – Vancouver
Washington State University Vancouver – Dengerink Administration Building (VDEN)
14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave
Vancouver, WA 98686-9600
January 13th – Tri Cities
Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center 
2525 North 20th Avenue 
Pasco, WA 99301

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