Monday, June 11, 2012

Hydro dam on the North Fork Snoqualmie?

Over the objections of the recreation and conservation community, including The Mountaineers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a preliminary permit last fall for the proposed Black Canyon Hydroelectric Project that would construct a new dam  on the North Fork Snoqualmie River.

The river forms the border for the Department of Natural Resources Mt. Si Natural Resources Conservation Area that includes some of the best remaining intact old-growth riparian forest at low elevation in the western Cascades. The river section proposed for development has been found eligible and recommended for designation as a Wild and Scenic River by the U.S. Forest Service, and is identified as a protected area from hydropower development by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Finally, the lands along the river are protected by a conservation easement held by King County that specifically prohibits hydropower projects of the scale proposed. Despite these concerns, FERC concluded that these issues could all be evaluated once a formal application was filed.

Want to help keep the North Fork Snoqualmie free-flowing? FERC needs to hear from you during the current public comment period.  Mark your calendars & tell your friends – you can attend either the daytime or evening scoping meeting on Tuesday, June 19 to learn more and raise issues and concerns. The virtual site review will provide an opportunity to get a more in-depth overview of the project.  
Daytime scoping  meeting, Tuesday, June 19 11:00 a.m.
Virtual site review, Tuesday, June 19 2:00 p.m.
Evening scoping  meeting. Tuesday, June 196:00 p.m.
All meetings will be held  at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center Auditorium, 19901 Cedar Falls Road SE, North Bend, WA 98045.

A public comment period is now open with comments due by July 24, 2pm (PDT).  For more background and information about how to weigh in this proposal, visit American Whitewater’s webpage on the proposed North Fork Snoqualmie hydro developments.

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