Snohomish PUD hydro project will harm salmon

A Nov. 9 article in The Herald focused on declining salmon and orca populations in Puget Sound and how the two are interdependent.

The latest Snohomish County Public Utility District bills included an article on how the Jackson Project enhanced habitat for fish and wildlife in the Sultan Basin.

The PUD is pursuing a license for a hydro project on the South Fork of the Skykomish River that most certainly will adversely affect the threatened salmon and steelhead populations.

In April 2016, the Tulalip Tribes and the Snoqualmie Tribe sent letters to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission urging it to deny Snohomish PUD’s license application for that project, because the project will adversely affect the salmon and steelhead that start and end their lives on that river.

The Skykomish accounts for a substantial percentage of those fish in Puget Sound. Resident orca depend on these fish as do commercial, sport and recreational fishermen. These fish are vital to the culture of native peoples. As noted in the Herald article, fish populations are already declining.

Why is the PUD continuing to spend millions of ratepayer dollars to “study” a hydropower project that will harm fish and wildlife? The power derived from that facility, if licensed and built, will be three to five times more expensive than buying power off the grid. The project is a bottomless pit into which the PUD continues to pour our money. This is a boondoggle if there ever was one.

Tell the Snohomish PUD Commissioners about your concerns with this project by emailing emailcommissioners@snopud.com.

Brook Harbaugh

Lake Stevens

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