21. July 2022 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus Call to Meeting, July 2022 · Categories: Committee News, Recent Events

Ag and Rural Caucus Self-Call To Meeting, July 2022

Chehalis River Basin: Floods, Dams, and Habitat
 06:30 PM 21 July, 2022 

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Meeting ID: 813 7992 2162 
Passcode: 331894

Chehalis River Basin: Floods, Dams, and Habitat

Scott Boettcher, Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority
Anthony Waldrop, Gray’s Harbor Conservation District

Andrea McNamara Doyle, Department of Ecology
Nat Kale, Department of Ecology


Recall our March meeting on forest management in NE Washington? We left that meeting impressed by the cooperation among Federal, Washington State, and private lumber companies to jointly manage their forest resources.

I expect that we will see comparable good news from our meeting tomorrow, Thursday the 21st. This time the study will be on Southwest Washington and the challenges of reconciling demands to tame the Chehalis River’s propensity to flood and the imperatives of maintaining Washington’s most significant salmon run. Make no mistake. Passions run high. The difference is how we respond to the urgencies to take action. Those of us in eastern Washington need to pay attention. We can learn something about seeking solutions rather than conflict.

“When the Chehalis floods again, who pays the price” is good background..

Join the conversation this Thursday evening.

20 July 2022


Issues in the Chehalis Basin are textbook: Manage floods downstream with upstream dams while securing salmon habitat. Add in climate change, closing of I-5 and destruction of farm land, and tribal skepticism of engineered solutions, and you have a recipe for stasis.

So, do we have stasis in the Chehalis Basin? Maybe not, as long we have advocates still saying “we have to do something.” Strangely, though that call usually has an agenda behind it, commitment to finding solutions sounds good compared to shouting out the solution and walking away.

Let’s listen to the people working the Chehalis River Basin issues before we write off the possibility of “protecting people and protecting fish.”

“When the Chehalis floods again, who pays the price” is a good journalistic account of some of the issues.

Join the conversation this Thursday evening.

15 July 2022

Chehalis River Basin

Those of us from eastern Washington think we know something about rivers, dams, and habitat. We have the rivers – Columbia, Snake, Yakima, not to mention Methow.  We have dams certainly,  Enloe, Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph, just to start from the top. And we wring our hands constantly about habitat, mostly because we have the dams.

This month our guests are going to show us that they know a thing or two about a river system, the Chehalis River Basin. I use “system” with intention. Our guests present a model of particular interests working together in teams to research and solve system problems. People are doing the hard work of listening and trying to find the possible. The silo thinking that we see in the Lower Snake River debates, for example, seems less evident in the Chehalis. And few in the Lower Snake River debates rise out of their silos to craft system solutions.

Finding the possible in the Chehalis Basin carries an urgency. The Chehalis floods. And recently. The big flood was 2007 with a follow up just this January, 2022. This is where the dams come in.

How to keep Centralia and I-5 from flooding out? How about Pe Ell? How to dam a river and yet enhance salmon habitat?

I may be “blue-eyed” in the old Norwegian sense of being naïve about how well our neighbors are handling tough problems but I gladly extend a little generosity of spirit.

Follow this link for a video about the Chehalis. Go to Google Maps to find the Chehalis and track it from its source to the Pacific. It is the second largest river system in Washington, and touches nine counties.

Join the conversation on Thursday evening, 21 July.

5 July 2022

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Ag and Rural Caucus of State Democratic Central Committee
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