Junior Wilson, Ho-Chunk, Winnebago Tribe, shares his thoughts and prayers concerning sustaining our natural resources of water and treaty rights for generations to come, and sang his prayer about his relative who, in the 1700s, fought for his people's rights, was changed into a Bear by Creator, and rose on a white cloud when he died.
Similkameen Sunday started with a ceremony at Similkameen Falls with Similkameen Indian Band elders, council members, and invited guests.
Herman Edward, teacher and story teller from Lower Similkameen Indian Band talks about the importance of caring for our natural resources and respecting the natural falls as Creator provided them to us.
Herman Edward sings a prayer for the healing of the river, falls, and the people whose responsibility it is to care for Creator's natural resources.
Colville Tribal elder Marge Jameson talks with Herman Edward after the ceremony as Tony Qualtier, LSIB elder and other guests look on.
Chief Rob Edward of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band welcomed those who attended Similkameen Sunday at the Community Cultural Center in Tonasket.
Theresa Ann Terbasket, Lower Similkameen Indian Band elder, spoke about the changes we all face—changes in the river, what it should look like—for without water, we become desert, even within ourselves.
Golden Eagle Drum, from Nespelem, kept us focused on how special our gathering in support of the Similkameen River and Falls and the People was on Similkameen Sunday.
Herman Edward, Lower Similkameen Indian Band, sharing songs on the multi-register flute he made.
Mayor Patrick Plumb and children welcome the Similkameen Indian Band members, Colville Confederated Tribal members and the public to Tonasket and Similkameen Sunday.
Steve Pollard, Steve Bell, Ray Dispenza, and Kyle MacConnel sing and play for us "Similkameen, River of Gold."
Herman Edward shared with us the story of Sinkuleep (Coyote) bringing the salmon up the river.
Bob Turner, Chief Tonasket's great-grandson from Wilbur, spoke about his grandpa's big family, giving him 18 aunts and uncles he learned a lot from, and how important it is for us to get together and share our stories.

A Reasoned "NO" on Enloe Dam Re-Electrification (11.25.14)
Fate of Enloe Dam Still Uncertain (11.20.14)
Whooshh System, Known as the Salmon Cannon, Gets Popular Science Award—used on the Washougal River (11.14.14)
Commission Adopts Comprehensive Update to Washington State's Hydraulic Code Rules (11.7.14)
Will Getting Some Steehead to Spawn Twice in Methow Improve Numbers? (11.7.14)
Navy Forges New Electronic Warfare Strategy: Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (11.5.14)
Washington State Fish & Wildlife New Hydraulic Code Rules Changes (10.28.14)
Officials Celebrate $10 million in Projects to Increase Flows in Twisp & Methow Rivers (10.17.14)
NOAA Winter Outlook: Warm Winter for Pacific Northwest, Below-Average Precipitation (10.17.14)
Salmon People Pray for Sacred Fish to Return to Historic Home (10.5.14)
Fish Passage White Paper from Columbia Basin Tribes Coalition on the Columbia River Treaty 2014/2024 Review (2.14.14)
Is Your Fish from the Columbia River Toxic? Everyone Needs to Know(10.4.14)
Whooshh Innovations—a Gentle Fish Passage Technology
Conservation Groups appeal Enloe Dam Water Rights Decision
Fish Agencies offer to Remove Enloe Dam for Fish Habitat
Okanogan PUD Ratepayers: Enloe Dam Project Costs too much, isn't Economical, and will Raise Your Rates
U.S. and Canadian Tribal, Religious, and Community Leaders Document Damage by Dams to Columbia River (6.8.14)
All Signs Still Point to Likely El Niño Conditions for Pacific Northwest— Warmer & Dryer Conditions (6.6.14)
Similkameen - 150 Years
PUD Spending Heavily on Risky Economic Project
Similkameen Fish Habitat—Potential New Economy
State Board Rules: Similkameen Falls Deserves Water
Proposed Flow Over Similkameen Falls
WA Pollution Control Hearings Board upholds Petition for Reconsideration of Aesthetic Flows over Similkameen Falls
State Agency Certification Supports Dewatering Similkameen Falls
When Public Utility Districts Forget Who They Serve
When will Our Nightmare End?
Pollution Control Hearing Board Decision in favor of Aesthetic Values
Report Shows Enloe Dam to be Economic Loss
What Do We Do about Okanogan PUD?
Ratepayer Issues with the Proposed Enloe Dam Facilities Rebuild
Group's Appeal State's Decision to De-water Similkameen Falls
Can Washington State Dry Up a River? River Advocates say "No"
Will Enloe Dam Ever Come Down?
Courtroom Updates of Appeal of Dept. of Ecology's Decision to Allow Ok PUD to Dewater Similkameen Falls

Upper Columbia River Stories

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Methow Valley Citizens Council's Two-pronged Strategy: Raising a Strong Community Voice & Taking Legal Action (11.21.14)
Newly Revised Publication Details Federal Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry Program Funding (11.10.14)
Citizens Groups Appeal Okanogan County Commissioners Decision on Need for EIS of Draft Comprehensive Plan (5.30.14)
Kinross Gold will Drop Major Gold Exploration on Buckhorn Mountain in Chesaw WA (5.29.14)
Concerns Rise Over Hanford Waste Tanks (3.2.14)
Species Banks provide Ecosystem Services (5.14.13)

We can End the Columbia Basin Salmon Wars Now by Balancing Energy, Conservation (9.22.12)
SoloPower rolls out flexible Solar Panels in Portland plant opening (9.29.12)
Teck Metals Ltd. admits using Columbia River as Industrial Sewer (9.13.12)
Harvard Medical School Study confirms High Rate of Colitis down river from Teck Smelter (8.14.12)
Teck Metals Ltd. admits Polluting Columbia River in U.S., but does not concede dumped waste caused harm (9.10.12)
Hearing on Dick (alias "Doc") Hastings' bill (Saving Our Dams and Hydropower Development & Jobs Act 2012) point up divide between fish, hydropower forces (8.16.12)
Groups say state ignored Clean Water standards when certifying Enloe Dam (8.21.12)
Appeal filed over Enloe water permit (8.15.12)
America's Deficit Attention Disorder—Money is the least of our problems—Pay attention to the real deficits that are killing us
USDA Seeks Comments on Non-Browning Genetically Engineered Apples from Canada (8.17.12)
• Deb Abramhamson: Interview with SHAWL founder who receives Spokane Water Hero award
• Rachael Paschal Osborn: Climate Change and The Columbia River Treaty Renegotiation in 2014
Northport WA residents downwind of Teck smelter see disease rise (8.12.12)
Colville Tribe, Teck Resources go to court over Columbia River Pollution(8.12.12)
California Hydroelectricity Production vulnerable to Climate Change (8.8.12)
Ecovillage sows resistance and a Sustainable Panama (8.6.12)
Pebble Mine near headwaters of Bristol Bay in SW Alaska likely to endanger largest Sockeye salmon fishery in world (7.25.12)
Exempt Wells & Sprawl Threaten Sharp-tail Grouse Habitat & Cattle Ranching in Tunk Valley, Okanogan County (7.15.12)

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Community Cultural Center of Tonasket
Conservation Northwest
Conscious Cultural Festival
Farmers Markets - Okanogan County
Ferry County Co-op
Friends of the Trees Society
Green Okanogan
Jackrabbit Newsletter
Kettle Range Conservation Group
Lake Roosevelt Forum
LA Catholic Worker Agitator
Methow Naturalist
Methow Valley Citizens Council
Okanogan Highlands Alliance
Okanogan Land Trust
Planet Drum Foundation
SHAWL Society
Slow Food Okanogan County
SolWest Renewable Energy Faire
Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op
Wisdom of the 13 Grandmothers

Events Calendar

• Dec 21 Winter Solstice
• Jan 5 Okanogan PUD decides Enloe Dam's fate


Community Links
Friends of the Similkameen River
Land & Water

Similkameen Trail Connector Phase 1
Similkameen Falls Album

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Listen to Junior Wilson, Ho-Chunk, Winnebago Tribe, shares his thoughts and prayer concerning sustaining our natural resources of water and treaty rights for generations to come.

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Listen to Herman Edward talk of life, responsibility to Mother Earth, and play his multi-register flute.

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Listen to Ray Dispenza's "Similkameen, River of Gold" played by Steve Pollard, Steve Bell, Kyle MacConnel, and Ray.
Similkameen Sunday Celebration
Videos of Similkameen Sunday

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Listen to Theresa Ann Terbasket speak about the changes we face.

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Listen to Chief Rob Edwards speak of responsibilities representing his people and the protocols and ceremonies of Creation he follows for guiding his people and listening to the elders guidance, and remembering the history of his cultural experiences.
A Collection of
We offer these suggestions for increasing wildfire safety around the home and community to stimulate a discussion, and hopefully more activity in reducing fire risk. Click the image above to download a PDF file of fire protection resources (it is a large file so will take a while to download). Or you can download individual articles: (1) Why the Forests are Burning, (2) Home Fire Protection, (3) Treating Vegetation, (4) Anatomy of a Burn, (5) Fire & ForestManagement: Myth & Reality, (6) Smoke in Our Eyes: The Politics of Fire, (7) Restoration Forestry

Last Year's
Similkameen Sunday

Upper & Lower
Similkameen Bands
and Colville Tribes

Today, Conservation Groups release an updated 2014 Review of the Economics of Restoring Hydropower at Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River. The original economic review was completed in 2011, and the most recent review addresses how mandated and potentially increased minimum flows through the bypass reach would further impact the Public Utility District No. 1 of Okanogan County’s (OkPUD) 2008 projections. This 2014 analysis, prepared by Rocky Mountain Econometrics of Boise, Idaho, concludes:

• Construction costs continue to increase. RME estimates that inflation will drive Enloe’s cost to about $40 million and above in subsequent years.
• Enloe dam will, depending on the amount of water dedicated to minimum instream flows over the falls, lose between $1.1 million and $1.5 million for each year the project operates. A loss of $25 to $41 on every MWh of electricity it produces.
• OkPUD will see operating income of only $2.1 million each year. With operating costs totaling $3,193,696 it will cost OkPUD $1.1 million more each year to operate the Enloe Project than it would cost to purchase the power on the open market.

The report also addressed OkPUD statements regarding potential premium pricing for power generated at Enloe Dam, Enloe’s ability to back up wind and solar energy, and that OkPUD can run the project at a long term loss (40+ years) and then see a profit once construction debt has been retired. The report found:

• Enloe does not qualify as green power. In the unlikely event that regulations are amended that would include Enloe, the premium would not be enough to cover Enloe’s losses.
• As a run-of-river project, Enloe’s generation cannot effectively back up intermittent wind and solar projects.
• At the end of year 40, when the original loan for the project is paid off, accumulated losses plus interest will have grown to nearly $170 million, more than four times the original construction cost. At that time, Enloe will be losing about $10 million per year and the net present value will never generate a profit.

“To avoid this monumental loss, OkPUD has no choice but to pass the costs along to the ratepayers,” said Jere Gillespie of the Columbia River Bioregional Education Project. “If Enloe proceeds, it would increase electrical costs by $50 for each ratepayer, each year, in perpetuity.”

On July 9, 2013, OkPUD received its Order approving a new license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Today, notwithstanding evidence of project monetary losses, greatly increased debt, and other uncertainties, OkPUD continues to pursue repowering the project.

The Enloe Dam project has long been controversial for both environmental and economic reasons. Of particular concern is the current proposal to bypass virtually all of the river flow into the new turbines, de-watering Similkameen Falls for most of the year. Conservation Groups would prefer to remove the dam abandoned in 1958 and to restore more than 200 miles of free-flowing river on the Similkameen and its upstream tributaries.

“There is great uncertainly associated with the Enloe Project, including how much water must remain in the river to protect Similkameen Falls,” says Rachael Osborn with the Center for Environmental Law & Policy. “As the RME report shows, this could make the bad economic picture even worse, something the OkPUD has failed to consider.”

“OPUD has repeatedly said, given the money already sunk in the project, that repowering is the only way to provide a return to its ratepayers,” said Thomas O’Keefe with American Whitewater. “At some point, they need to stop digging the hole deeper. And with this level of loss, that time is today.”

Contacts for more information:
• Jere Gillespie (Columbia River Bioregional Education Project), 509.485.3844, j.columbiana@gmail.com
• Thomas O'Keefe (American Whitewater) 425.417.9012, okeefe@americanwhitewater.org
• Rich Bowers, Hydropower Reform Coalition, 360.303.9625, Rich@hydroreform.org
• Rachael Osborn (Center for Environmental Law & Policy) , 509.954.5641, rdpaschal@earthlink.net

Click to view Mobile Electronic Warfare Test Sites Maps,
U.S. Navy's Final Environmental Assessment (EA), See Comments by groups and individuals: Karen Sullivan—Violations of Law—Navy EW Plans and Forest Service, Olympic Park Associates, Kettle Range Conservation Group, Stuart R Gillespie, Dana Visalli, Other Comments, Articles: Navy Forges Electronic Warfare: Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare, Navy Plans Electromagnetic War Games over National Park and Forests in Washington State, Documents Show that Navy's Electromagnetic Warfare Training Would Harm Humans and Wildlife.

Enloe Dam remains an Economic Loser

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is taking comments until Nov 17th on the NEPA process that will be used to make their decision to issue a special use permit for 5 years to the Navy to conduct their Mobile Electronic Warfare Test Sites using Forest Service roads.The comment period will only be extended if they are receiving a lot of comments. (See below for address.) We asked the Navy at the Open House why doesn't the Navy apply to the U.S. Army to use the Yakima Training Center—designed for military use—for their exercises rather than USFS property. Their answer was that the training center is over booked and they cannot schedule its use. Every time we go through that area on Hwy 97, it is completely vacant of activity. Someone needs to check out their schedule and see if the Navy's activities could be worked into their schedule. Click to view OkanWen National Forest Notice of Navy's Plans. Here's an account of Tuesday's Open House the Navy and Okan-Wen National Forest written by Dana Visalli of the Methow Valley.

Some of our concerns are:
(1) It is not clear what attempts were made to gain local comments in determining a “no impact decision” by the U.S. Navy.
(2) Has livestock and wildlife safety been considered with mobile emitters on designated roads?
(3) It is also unclear how Navy will keep humans from using roads for recreation, wood gathering, hunting, etc.
(4) Navy’s EA does identify the general direction (3 degrees vertical from the horizon towards the west), but not the intensity of electronic radiation mobile emitters will be pulsing from our forest service roads.

October 17, the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest sent us a letter stating there will be a 30-day comment period that will only be announced in the Wenatchee World or on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Web site. The comment period will be from Oct 17 to Nov 17. Send your comments to Supervisior Balboni's address below. We have a good chance to extend our comment period if enough comments come pouring into Supervisor Balboni office.

The public comment period has been extended until Nov 28 to submit comments to the Olympic National Forest. There will be a public meeting on Nov 6 from 6-8pm at the Port Angeles City Council Chambers, located at 321 East Fifth Street, Port Angeles, WA where the U.S. Navy and Olympic National Forest Service will answer questions. Send comments to:

• Greg T Wahl, 1835 Black Lake Blvd SW, Suite A, Olympia, WA 983512, gtwahl@fs.fed.us, 360.956.2375. Comment period ends Nov 28th.

Please request a public meeting closer to the Colville National Forest to explain their process in making a decision to allow the Navy to set up these Military Operation Areas on Forest Service Roads. You can send your comments and requests to:

• Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor, Michael L. Balboni, c/o Phil Christy, 1 West Winesap, Tonasket WA 98855, pchristy@fs.fed.us, 509.486.5137. Comment period ends Nov 17 unless it gets extended.
• Colville National Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West, c/o Karen Nooney, Colville National Forest, 765 S. Main Street, Colville WA 99114, knooney@fs.fed.us, 509.684.7189. We talked to Franklin Pemberton, Public Affairs Officier, fpemberton@fs.fed.us, on Nov 6, and he said the Navy has not send CNF an application as of yet to use CNF forest roads. Stay tuned as we will update this information.

U.S. Navy's Plans for using Forest Service Roads
Boeing's $10 billion EA-18G Growler next generation Electronic Warfare aircraft flying over our National Forests disturbing wildlife and human dwellings close to the forest.
The Navy's Mobile Electromagnetic Radiation Emitter proposed truck that will be parked at specific areas on forest service roads up to 50 days during a year for up to 8 hr stretches. So far the Navy has not requested the USFS to plow roads during winter months. Radiation will be directed west at a 3 degree arc up from horizon.
Land and Community in the
Upper Columbia River Bioregion
Similkameen River Restoration
2014 Economic Review confirms project will lose money on every megawatt-hour produced and that Project represents an Annual Rate increase of approximately $50 for each Ratepayer.
Okanogan County Comprehensive Plan is headed for Court
Protecting Place