Today, Washington Wild was one of 39 local businesses, recreation and conservation groups who signed a comment letter to the Chelan County Commissioner and the Washington State department of Ecology expressing concerns for the Icicle Creek Water Resource Management Strategy. The Icicle Creek Working Group (IWG) has proposed several construction projects in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to increase stream flows by expanding easements in the area. These water projects are in direct conflict with the Wilderness Act. In addition, expanding easements in the area, building new dams and tunnels would adversely impact the values for which the Alpine Lakes Wilderness was established.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is one of the most popular National Forest wilderness areas in the country. Furthermore, the Enchantment Lakes Basin and surrounding area is one of the most treasured areas in the Alpine Lakes, renowned for its rugged beauty, enchanting lakes, and breadth of recreational opportunities. This is an area where management decisions require the utmost scrutiny and adherence to sustaining wilderness values.
The groups requested that the IWG consider projects that are in accordance with the Wilderness Act, that would not build new dams, and that would not impact the values for which the Alpine Lakes Wilderness was established. The breadth and variety of the groups and organizations who signed on to the comment letter sends a clear signal that the current projects proposed face widespread opposition and that the IWG needs to reconsider their approach in the area.
Read the comment letter here.