Other Projects Updates:
MVCC assists with a variety of projects that we do not take on as issues.
Mission Project Scoping Comments
MVCC has submitted scoping comments on the Forest Service’s Mission Project. To read them please click here.
Enloe Dam Update
If you’re interested in re-establishing free-flowing rivers for fish and other creatures (like humans!) in Okanogan County, please attend the Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) board meeting on Monday, May 9, at 3:00 pm and make your voice heard! The PUD is considering whether to pursue reconstruction of facilities to operate Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River in North Central Washington to generate electricity. The alternative is to tear down the dam and restore the river, and many in the County have been trying to secure a buyer for the dam that will pay to tear it down.
The dam has not generated power since the 1950s, with prior efforts to re-energize the dam being rejected by regulators. The Okanogan PUD has obtained a new license to generate electricity and once again proposes to electrify the old Enloe Dam, almost completely dewatering an important stretch of the river, including Similkameen Falls. Economic studies conclude that the project would result in substantial financial losses for ratepayers; power generation would cost twice the market value of the power! In addition, the water right issued by the State to operate the dam for power has been challenged in court.
If you’d like to add your voice to others who oppose resurrecting Enloe Dam to generate power, please attend the meeting at the Okanogan County PUD Building, 1331 2nd Ave N PO Box 912, Okanogan, WA 98840.
If you can’t make the meeting, please let the PUD commissioners know how you feel by calling or writing to them:
Scott Verjaska: firstname.lastname@example.org (509) 826-7088
Steve Houston: email@example.com (509) 429-9428
Ernie Bolz: firstname.lastname@example.org (509) 486-2553
We are very excited to have learned that the Conservation Alliance has provided the Methow Valley Citizens Council with a $28,000 grant to support the efforts of the Methow Headwaters Campaign. The campaign’s goal is to build on broad community support to make the upper headwaters of the Methow River “off-limits” to mining through a “mineral withdrawal” by the Secretary of the Interior and Chief of the U.S. Forest Service.
The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor industry companies that distributes annual membership dues from its 190-member companies in the form of grants to community-based campaigns that protect habitat and areas used for outdoor recreation. You can find more information about the Conservation Alliance and its latest round of grants at its news page.
The Conservation Alliance grant will allow us to continue to pursue this grassroots campaign in the community and beyond, and to make sure the community’s voice is heard in this matter of critical importance to the valley, its economy and its future.
MVCC also recently received 2 grants from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington’s Methow Valley Fund. We received $2,000 towards updating communication tools, and $2,000 to directly support equipment and education for the Methow Valley Clean Air Project.
The Methow Valley Fund offers grants up to $5,000 to nonprofit organizations and agencies with programs that address community needs. The types of programs supported include equipment purchases, marketing outreach, school field trips and art classes, family health services, capacity building, music, art, theater and more.
BOCC Letter regarding conservation easements
What does Okanogan County have in common with Flint, Michigan?
Giving decision making authority about safe drinking water to politicians instead of public health professionals. We wonder who benefits from relaxing the rules protecting the rest of the state’s drinking water supplies. Learn more here.
Okanogan County Public Health needs your help!
Supporters of a viable Public Health District are being asked to turn out for a public hearing in Okanogan this coming Monday, October 5 at 1:30 pm.
Public Health advocates are hoping that a good turnout of concerned citizens might affect the outcome of the hearing.
At the hearing, the County Commissioners will take comments and then vote on their proposed resolution to amend the Charter for the Board of Health. The amendments run counter to the recommendations provided by an Advisory Committee appointed by the Commissioners to study the matter, and many are concerned that this is the first step in the process of privatizing the Public Health function in Okanogan County. The new Board of Health that the Commissioners are considering would have little expertise in public health, allow less community input, and would give the three Commissioners the majority of the votes on all matters.
Why does MVCC care about what happens at Public Health?
The Public Health District serves many critical functions in our county, and we believe it’s important that it remain viable and effective at doing its job.
A little-known fact is that Public Health also regulates development, by overseeing the permitting process for water adequacy, water quality, public water systems, and all things sewage. If such decisions are taken out of the hands of health professionals and left in the hands of politicians with a record of promoting development at all costs, we are concerned that the outcome could be disastrous for our communities and the environment.
Talking Points to include in your comments: Public Health Talking Point
Public Hearing Details:
WHEN: Monday, October 5 at 1:30pm
WHERE: Commissioners Auditorium in the Virgina Grainger Building, 123 5th Ave N. in Okanogan
SUBMIT COMMENTS: In person at the hearing, or by email before the hearing to email@example.com