The Chehalis River’s wild fish are at risk. And the region is vulnerable to catastrophic flooding. Everyone agrees that we need to do more to help salmon and decrease the flood risk. But science and common sense tell us that a dam is not the answer. Certainly not the one proposed by the Chehalis River Basin Flood Control District, which would cost upward of $1 billion and not solve either problem.
This dam goes too far, costs too much, and benefits too few. Please tell the State of Washington that you do NOT support this proposal and we need solutions that truly solve flood and fish issues for all residents of the basin.
TAKE ACTION: Click here to submit your comments to the State. The deadline is May 27. See sample letter below that you can cut and paste into their form.
I oppose the current plan to build a dam on the upper Chehalis River.
The river basin is clearly in need of a comprehensive strategy to address both heavy flooding and salmon and steelhead declines. Unfortunately the current dam proposal from the Chehalis River Basin Flood Control District will not comprehensively address either problem. Instead, it is a rushed and ill-advised attempt to solve deep-seated issues. It could end up costing taxpayers upwards of $1 billion, while worsening fish habitat and giving downstream landowners a false sense of flood security.
What the dam WON’T do:
• Prevent flood damage for residents throughout the basin
• Generate hydropower for Lewis County residents
• Supply irrigation water to Chehalis basin farmers
• Create new recreational fishing and boating opportunities
What the dam WILL do:
• Require significant logging and costly ongoing debris removal
• Drown six miles of critical salmon and steelhead habitat
• Worsen the Chehalis River’s existing water quality issues
• Increase the risk of future flood damage, if it triggers more floodplain development
Everyone agrees that we need to do more to help salmon and decrease the flood risk. But science and common sense tell us that a dam is not the answer. This dam goes too far, costs too much, and benefits too few. I urge you to send the Chehalis Basin leaders back to the drawing board to seek comprehensive solutions that work for communities, tribes, recreational and commercial fishers, and the greater ecosystem.