• Energy Export Decisions Loom over the Columbia River (6.30.15)
• State Notifying Eastern Washington Irrigators to Curtail Water Use Due to Low Flows (6.26.15)
• NOAA says Warming Rate Last 15 Years has been as Fast or Faster than Previous 50 Years (6.12.15)
• State Dept says Columbia River Treaty Negotiating Position to Include Ecosystem-based Function (Salmon Restoration) (6.12.15)
• Workshop Takes a Look at How Wildfires May Help or Hurt Columbia Basin Salmon (5.22.15)
• The Lost Fish: Pacific Lamprey film at CCC, 4.23.15 at 7 pm
• Contaminants Found in Pacific Lamprey Could be Contributing to Population Decline (4.17.15)
• Researchers Find Efficient Way to Establish Presence of Pacific Lamprey for Population Surveys (4.17.15)
• Water Supply from Early Runoff Depleting Snowpack, Columbia River at Dalles Dam Projected at 82 Percent (4.10.15)
• Study Reports British Columbia and Alberta to Lose 70% of Their Glaciers by 2100 (4.10.15)
• Drought: Washington Seeks To Lease Irrigation Water To Keep Upper Yakima Streams From Going Dry (4.3.15)
• Producing Salmon: Study Looks At Cost Effectiveness Of Habitat Restoration Compared To Hatcheries (4.3.15)
• Study Looks At Pacific Lamprey That Pass 8 Dams Into Snake River Tributaries, Notes Good Habitat (3.13.15)
• Okanogan PUD in Preliminary Talks to Swap Enloe Dam for Fish Habitat (3.12.15)
• A Weak El Nino Has Arrived, Enhanced Chance For Warm Spring In Western Oregon, Western Washington (3.13.15)
• Shoreline Management Plan Minimizes Regulations of Subdivisions Near Rivers, Lakes and Wetlands (3.7.15)
• Large Numbers Expected for 2015 Fall Chinook Return to Columbia (2.20.15)
• Study: Pacific Lamprey Decline Stems From Habitat Loss – Side Channels, Low Velocity Streams (2.13.15)
• OkPUD Commisioners Preserve All Options: License Extension will Allow Them to Explore Power Generation, Dam Removal or Water-Right Change (2.12.15)
• National Marine Fisheries Service (part of NOAA) Launches 5-Year Status Review of ESA-Listings of 13 Columbia Basin Salmon, Steehead Stocks (2.13.15)
•"NO ON ENLOE" Supporters Needed at Feb 9th OkPUD Meeting, 2:30 pm or Call PUD Commisioners to Voice Opposition to Enloe Electrification (2.4.15)
• Dry January 2015 Dropping Water Supply Forecasts—Washington-Oregon Cascedes Snowpack at 50 Percent Average or Less (1.23.15)
• Fortis BC Funds Taken Off Ecology's Water Projects (1.18.15)
• Tribes Lay Out Process for Investigating Feasibility of Salmon Reintroduction above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams (1.16.15)
• Cash-strapped Washington State Seeks Funding to Build New Dam on Similkameen River in BC (1.13.15)
• 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
• Climate-Related Alaska Glaciers Melting Unlikely to Slow Down, Major Driver of Sea Level Rise (6.19.15)
• Water Temps (68°F), Lower Flows Prompt Earlier than Usual Summer Hydro Operations in Lower Snake River (6.19.15)
• Once Stable Antarctic Glaciers have Suddenly Started Melting (5.23.15)
• "Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret"—As Western States Face Drought, Film Links Meat Industry to Water Scarcity & Climate Change (4.7.15)
• Columbia River Treaty Progress and History (CELP Newsletters)
• Columbia River is Number 2 on America's Endangered Rivers (4.7.15)
• Washington State DNR not Interested in Letting Navy Use Land for Electronic Warefare Training (3.2.15)
• Drought-Stricken California Exempts Big Oil and Big Ag from Mandatory Restrictions (4.3.15)
• Washington Ecology Settles Tri-Cities ‘Bucket For Bucket’ Water Rights Case OF Easterday Farms (4.3.15)
• Northwest Forest Plan Listening Sessions Scheduled for March 25 in Region 6—Times to be announced (2.18.15)
• 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 (8.10.12)
• 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)
• 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
• Jul 4 - Chesaw Rodeo, Chesaw WA.
• Jul 28-30 Solar 2015 Conference: Expanding Horizons to Shape the New Energy Economy
• Aug 8-9 - Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Days, Oroville WA.
• Aug 21-22 - Garlic Festival, History City Park (by river in NW of town), Tonasket WA.
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, email@example.com, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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, email@example.com, 509.684.7189. Franklin Pemberton, the CNF Public Affairs Officier, firstname.lastname@example.org, called January 7th to say the Navy has not sent CNF an application as of yet to use CNF forest roads. He did not expect to hear anything until February. He also said that the CNF does not see the Navy's uses of forest roads as being compatible with CNF stewardship of natural resources.
In the first 50 years of operation, cost for building, operating and maintaining Enloe Dam will exceed the revenue generated by the project, according to forecasts made by the Okanogan PUD.
Revised Cost Figure—Summary, p. 11 and Revised Cost Figure—2014 D-2 (excluding sunk costs), p. 15 (OkPUD 2015 Enloe Project Budget).
Between 2019, when electrical generation would start, and 2068 when the 50 years license of operation expires, it is estimated that Enloe Dam would generate about $152 million in income. However, construction would cost at least $62 million (the construction loan of approximately $39 million and $23 million in interest). Operations and maintenance will cost about $168 million during the 50 year period. When costs are subtracted from generation revenue, ratepayers are left with debt of
Since power generation conservatively will stay the same during the 50 year license, at least $1.7 million is added yearly to the cost of Enloe operations, modeled over time using an annual 2.5% escalator on Operations & Maintenance costs. Indeed, the project results in a loss of over $76 million. That is a cost of about $3,918 for each of the PUD’s 20,000 residential customers over the 50 year license, or $6.53 each month. (Model: OkPUD Enloe—Blended Resource).
Note: For more information on the use of this model, please telephone Jeré & Rick Gillespie, 831.332.4778.
Formulas Used to Calculate Numbers:
(Enloe MW Generation) X (hours/Year) = (Enloe MWhrs/Year)
(4.5 MW) X (8,760 hrs/year) = 39,420 MWhrs/year
(Cost $$/MWhr) X (Enloe MWhrs/year) = (Enloe Power Revenue $$/year)
($77/MWhr) X (39,420 MWhrs/year) = $3,035,340/year
In Year 2019:
(Enloe Power Revenue $$/year) + (Enloe Operation & Maintenance $$/year) + (Enloe Construction Debt $$) = (Enloe Debt $$)
$3,035,340/year + ($-1,719,000) + ($-2,018,000) = $-701,660
In Year 2069:
$3,035,340/year + ($-5,764,283) + ($0) = $-2,728,943
Potential Costs to each ratepayer over 50 years:
(Enloe costs) / (20,000 residential customers) / (50 years) / (12 months/yr = (Ratepayer cost/month)
$78,366,596 / 20,000 / 50 years / 12 months/year = $6.53/month
Link to Spreadsheet that displays the outcomes for Enloe costs projected over 50 years.
about Water Availability
for Proposed Enloe Dam
on Similkameen River
Olympia, WA – River advocacy groups will return to the courtroom on Friday, April 3, to challenge a decision that could reduce Similkameen Falls in Northeastern Washington to a trickle. The Falls, located on the Similkameen River just downstream of the abandoned Enloe Dam, are a popular scenic attraction and have important cultural and ecological values. Okanogan Public Utility District (PUD) is currently seeking to re-energize Enloe Dam, although uncertainties surrounding the amount of water available for the project raise questions about its future costs and viability.
The Center for Environmental Law & Policy, American Whitewater, and North Cascades Conservation Council are challenging a decision by the Washington Department of Ecology to issue a water right to the Okanogan PUD for the renewed operation of Enloe Dam. A Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) decision in 2013 allows Ecology and Okanogan PUD to delay required aesthetics studies until after the project is completed, and the groups are concerned that there is not enough water for hydropower production and aesthetic flows.
“Ecology is required to determine whether granting a water right will harm the public interest before issuing it. Here, they are illegally deferring that decision until after the project is built, something they cannot do when allocating public water resources,” said Andrea Rodgers Harris, one of the attorneys representing the river groups.
Economic studies show that re-energizing Enloe Dam doesn’t make financial sense, and will cost local ratepayers even more money if aesthetic and minimum flows are required.
“Ultimately, the Okanogan PUD doesn’t know how much water they will actually have to work with to generate power,” said Thomas O’Keefe, Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater. “This is putting a huge amount of ratepayer dollars at risk.”
Despite the economic uncertainty, the Okanogan PUD has stated that it plans to move forward with re-energizing the dam, which has sparked backlash from ratepayers.
“To avoid this monumental loss, Okanogan PUD 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, costs to construct, maintain and operate, and later remove the dam, would place in debt the ratepaying families $180,000,000 over 50 years”
“The new water right for the dam fails to protect instream flows as required by the Similkameen River rule,” said Rachael Paschal Osborn. “This directly contradicts a 2013 Supreme Court decision regarding the Skagit River, holding that these rules are ‘water rights for the river’ and may be violated only in the most narrow of circumstances.”
Oral argument will be held on April 3, 2015, 1:30 p.m. at Thurston County Superior Court, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Building 2, Olympia, WA. The river groups are all members of the Hydropower Reform Coalition, and are represented by public interest attorneys Andrea Rodgers Harris and Rachael Paschal Osborn.
Helpful Links: Conservationists’ Petition for Review; Pollution Control Hearing Board Decision; Enloe Dam remains an Economic Loser; and photos of salmonids jumping Similkameen Falls AND even trying to jump Enloe Dam!