Washington State is blessed with incredible rivers that deliver clean cold water to salmon, wildlife, residents, businesses and the Puget Sound. They are central to our unique quality of life. However, few of these rivers are permanently protected from new dam construction, unsustainable logging, mining and unmaintained roads. For example, Washington State has only 250 miles of designated Wild & Scenic Rivers compared to Oregon’s 2,000 miles.
The National Wild & Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress in 1968 (full description of WSR Act) to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. The Act is notable for safeguarding the special character of these rivers, while also recognizing the potential for their appropriate use and development. It encourages river management that crosses political boundaries and promotes public participation in developing goals for river protection.
Washington Wild works with coalition partners to support river management on our public lands and oppose logging, mining and other development that threaten to adversely impact river values. While we understand and support hydro-electric power as a renewable and clean energy source, we oppose proposals to add new dams to free flowing rivers. A better strategy is upgrading power production from the many aging dams that already exist on our rivers and streams.
Today Washington Wild joined 79 other organizations on a joint letter to the Department of Energy (DOE) coordinated by Hydropower Reform Coalition concerning the economical, ecological,and social impacts of new dam construction. The letter was sent in response to the DOE’s November 2016 Request for Information “Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development of Hydropower in […]
Black Canyon Hydro LLC announced that it was withdrawing its application for the Black Canyon Hydropower Project. This project would have constructed a new dam on the North Fork Snoqualmie River, severely impacting native rainbow and cutthroat trout, posing a risk to the City of Snoqualmie’s water supply, and irreversibly harming a world-class kayak run. […]
Nearly 100 conservation organizations, including Washington Wild wrote a letter to members of the U.S. Congress opposing new legislation (S. 1236) that would overturns a century’s worth of checks and balances over the federal management of water resources, and more than 40 years’ worth of protections for natural resources impacted by hydropower dams. The proposed legislation […]