Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Workshop sessions for Snake dams proposal set


January 2, 2020

The first of three public workshop dates on the governor's Lower Snake River Dam Stakeholder Engagement program has been scheduled for the Quality Inn at 700 Port Drive in Clarkston Jan. 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. Ninth District State Representatives Joe Schmick of Colfax and Mary Dye of Pomeroy urge residents in the district to attend.

In the 2019 legislative session, at Gov. Jay Inslee's request, $750,000 was included in the state operations budget to study possible breaching of the four Snake River Dams.

The 113-page report was released by the governor's office last Friday.

"This report and whatever public input is provided could have a profound effect in the future of our lower Snake River dams,” Schmick commented.

He noted the dams are essential for power generation, irrigation for agriculture, recreation and tourism. He added the dams provide stability for clean energy supply in 13 western states and Canada.

Schmick said Gov. Inslee's report does not make recommendations, but it does include view points from more than 100 local, state, federal and tribal officials and others on the next step in the future of the dams.

The workshops will include a short presentation of the report and panel discussion representing various interests.

According to Schmick, the governor's office will not allow public testimony at the workshops.

"This issue is too important to the well-being of our rural economies for the citizens to be silenced," Schmick commented.

Other workshops on the plan are set for Jan. 9 at WSU-Vancouver Administration Building, and Jan. 13 at the Tri-Cities Red Lion and Conference Center. All will be from 6 to 9 p.m.


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