Spokane River review - please help!

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Spokane River review - please help!

Postby forumadmin » Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:01 pm

Dear WRRR friends, your boating brethren on the east side need your help ASAP to save the Spokane River. Please aid our efforts to stop the river from becoming a perpetual trickle by commenting to the Department of Ecology supporting higher flow regimes...deadline is Friday! For reference, 850 cfs is Flintstone-ing inflatables,
dragging over rocks and shoals...unrunnable. We are pushing for 3,000 cfs minimum which is a decent run. Any questions feel free to email or call me @ 509-280-1467. Pleeeease, help us out, the more voices the greater the impact to get this insanity halted. Thanks!


News Release
November 6, 2014

Contact:

Rachael Paschal Osborn (Center for Environmental Law & Policy) 509.954-5641 rdpaschal@earthlink.net

River advocates provide key studies for critical Spokane River decision, missing from agency analysis

Public encouraged to wade in to stop “travesty” for Spokane River

Comment links and studies can be found at celp.org.

Spokane – Today river advocates released Spokane River data they collected because the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) failed to do so in its proposed flow rule for the Spokane River. The Ecology proposal would set flows for the Spokane River, including summertime low flows at 850 cubic feet per second (cfs). River flows not protected eventually will be taken by Washington State and Idaho for out-of-stream water rights. Deadline for public comment is Friday, November 7 at 5 pm.

"To think that Ecology never consulted any of the recreational interest groups before establishing this flow level is a travesty,” said Paul Delaney, a co-founder and board member of the Northwest Whitewater Association in Spokane who has been running the river for 35 years. “We've had agency personnel on floats on the river so they knew how to reach us."

In setting flows, the Department of Ecology failed to consult with boaters who use the Spokane River. American Whitewater undertook a survey asking Spokane River boaters about their flow preferences. Preliminary findings show that all boaters prefer flows higher than 1000 cfs and most prefer flows in the range of 5000 cfs. Flows less than 1000 cfs are considered unfavorable to boaters and can cause damage to some craft.

“Ecology’s failure to quantitatively evaluate Spokane River flows for recreation, despite the many scientific methods to do so, is unacceptable,” said Thomas O’Keefe, Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director of American Whitewater.

Ecology also failed to do basic assessment of the scenic values of the Spokane River as it flows through the gorge. River advocates undertook their own photographic study. Today, the Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CELP) released an atlas of 37 key observation points of the Spokane River’s downriver reach, starting at the Monroe Street bridge in downtown Spokane. The study documents five different flows ranging from 2,800 to 1,000 cfs.

“Basic information that should have been used by the Department of Ecology isn’t there,” said Rachael Paschal Osborn, executive director of the Center for Environmental Law & Policy. “Citizens have stepped forward to do the work the agency should have done, to try and save the Spokane River.”

"850 cfs is completely laughable, for boating and I presume fish would laugh — or cry if they do. I wonder if agency staff who came up with that flow number have seen the Devil's Toenail at 850?" asked Delaney. “It’s essential that the user public be told and be given the opportunity to wade into this critical river decision.”

Citizens interested in the Spokane River can file comments with the Department of Ecology until 5 pm on Friday, November 7, 2014. The comment link can be found on the Center’s website at www.celp.org.

Links –

Spokane River KOPs 2500 and 1000 cfs
Spokane River Atlas of KOPs
Boater Survey
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Re: Spokane River review - please help!

Postby PinkyF » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:40 am

Bummer, I just got back from the rogue and missed this. Too bad there isn't more time
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