If you care about keeping the White Salmon free and beautiful clean and cold, we need you!! The Washington State Court of Appeals has set the hearing date for the Husum/BZ comprehensive plan for:
Monday, March 30, 2015, 10AM (arrive by 9:30AM)
HUDSON’S BAY HIGH SCHOOL, 1601 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver, Wa
For those not familiar with the issue, in a nutshell it is:
Friends of the White Salmon River and the Friends of the Columbia Gorge challenged in court, Klickitat County’s proposed comprehensive plan for the Husum/BZ area. The plan would allow rezone of over 1,000 acres of land in the White Salmon River Valley from forest and farm to residential zoning with 1 and 2 acre minimum lot sizes. We contended the County violated state law in a variety of ways, and we won that argument in Superior Court. The County then appealed, so now we are at the Court of Appeals.
We want the county to work with all stakeholders to plan for the future of the White Salmon River watershed, to preserve, protect and sustain the web of life in this place: humans, animals, fish, birds, plants, insects – all life.
Only attorneys and the judges will be speaking. There is no public input at this hearing, just public presence. Be at the school by 9:30 to make your way through. We plan to meet at the park and ride by the HR bridge at 7:30AM. There is a van available and people willing to carpool, so please contact:
email@example.com (208-867-9849) for transportation information
Friend indeed, Steve Stampfli, has offered to lead a trail cleanup on the trail at the BZ launch site on October 26. This is a beautiful trail up to BZ Falls, and Steve will have lots to tell us about what we will be looking at as we work to make it safe, beautiful, and sustainable. We value his willingness to lead this project . . . there aren’t many who understand this watershed as well as Steve! Stay tuned on this one.
Join us on October 5th for a slow-paced trip through the old lake bed and dam site to the Columbia. With luck, we’ll see salmon and steelhead swimming in some shallow portions of the river, and spawning beds (redds) for the Fall Chinook. Knowledgeable guides from Zoller’s will fill us in on the natural history.
“It’s like having our very own science project in our front yard,” said Mark Zoller, 29 year White Salmon River guide. “We have such a special opportunity to watch nature re-claim and heal itself over the next several years. I’m amazed, as is everyone at how quickly the river hastaken control and is proceeding to repair 100 years of blockage.“
We will experience breath-taking scenery, some fun rapids (Class III), float past the site of Condit Dam, and pass through the Narrows.
There is an approximately 200-yard portage around one impassable ‘keeper’ pool. If you are concerned about how strenuous this portage is, please contact Zollers.
To reserve your seat, call Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys directly at 509-493-2641.
In addition to warm weather, summer also brings the White Salmon Riverfest & Symposium to our community each year. Scheduled this summer for Wednesday July 10th, Husum will be bustling with activities with something for everyone all day long.
The event kicks off with the incredibly popular annual community float. This affordable, $20 raft trip is designed for the local community to enjoy the river together. If you have not had that opportunity before, this fun event is a great way to see why the New York Times mentioned this river as one of 4 “must do’s” in the country for 2013.
Reservations for the rafting trip can be made by phone (800.306.1673 / 509.493.8989) or online at www.wetplanetwhitewater.com . Please note, the trip is intended for folks who live in the area, in the White Salmon valley or the extended Gorge communities. “We care about the White Salmon River, and appreciate being able to take visitors and neighbors rafting and kayaking every day. It always surprises us how many folks in the area have never been out on the river, so we love creating this opportunity each year to share it in an affordable way with community members who don’t get a chance to get out on the river as much as we do,” says Wet Planet owner Todd Collins, who is also on the Husum – BZ Community Council.
After the rafting trip, rafters and event attendees are invited to grab lunch by the newest eatery in Husum, Big Man’s Rotisserie. For the occasion, the Big Man’s grill will be stationed at the parking lot of the Husum Fire Hall, welcoming people to the afternoon’s Symposium.
After the community float, the White Salmon River Symposium agenda offers an exciting list of current and relevant topics that have been on many a river user’s mind ever since Condit Dam came out. “The landscape of the White Salmon River has changed, and we hope to provide information on current issues for river users and landowners that pertain to the river and its resources,” says Jeanette Burkhart, organizer of this year’s symposium.
The topics, presented by regional experts, include a “state of the river” overview; conservation resources available to landowners; the threat, identification, and prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species; watershed stewardship; Fish resources: an update and what to expect. A moderated discussion will follow with a panel of river-related specialists, who will wrestle with the benefits and challenges of wood in the river. Additional sub basin and river-related information will be provided by organizations at table displays. Washington State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife staff will hold two demonstrations on how to decontaminate a water craft (using a boat-washing station outside the fire hall) in order to prevent the introduction or spread of aquatic invasive species, which could threaten the economic and ecological vitality of the river. Raffle drawings will be held in between talks, and visitors will have opportunities to interact with presenters and panelists.
Following the symposium, it’s time to get out on the river again for the Social Paddle & Trash Bash. The Wednesday Evening Social Paddle, organized each week by Luke Maddox with the Kayak Shed, is joining forces with local raft guides lead by Zoller guide Ben Kofoed for a River Clean Up. Paddlers are challenged to pick up as much trash as possible, and prices will be given for the most and/or funniest river trash collected.
After a great day of varied activities, the party will move to the Husum River Side B&B and Ice House Café. The river community will be able to grab a slice of pizza by Solstice, and a beverage at the bar. This will also be a great opportunity to watch OPB’s documentary about the White Salmon River, created by Andy Maser. As of 8.30 PM, local band The Shed Shakers will be filling a packed dance floor.
Here's a link to our comment letter. Let me make very clear that our comments are about County actions, starting many years ago. We would hope that any property owner along the river would want to restore and protect the buffer. We'd hope that such owners would go the extra mile to learn what's needed to be good stewards for the common good. We understand that this particular application is relatively trivial on it's own. The point is that cumulative effects need to be taken into account.
I apologize in advance for some raggedy writing. I spent a long time on this, still didn't have time to polish everything up to a nice sheen.
Comments and questions welcome. https://friendsofthewhitesalmon.org/wp-content/uploads/FWSR.Comment.ShaeHillCUPSH2020-02.pdf
Enough is enough. FWSR opposes the approval of a permit to do additional harm to the shoreline of the White Salmon River by constructing a private raft launch. We have participated in innumerable permitting processes in the White Salmon River watershed. In general, the permitting process has proved to be worthless for environmental protection. When regulatory agencies issue permits, they legalize harm.
The current application states that there will be no damage. We disagree. We also think that this application must be considered in light of on-going cumulative damage to the shoreline. This application results from a long process of short plats, starting with in 1997. The basic fact is that agricultural land is being converted to residential use, which is potentially much more harmful to the river. Every stage of this process has offered an opportunity for the County to protect the shoreline buffer, but no protection or improvement has resulted.
Additionally, the shoreline in the Husum area has degraded through unpermitted actions. Some of these actions have been brought to County attention in complaints filed with the County. None of them have been resolved in favor of the buffer and the river.
Buffers matter. Making room for the river to live naturally, move as it wants, absorb large woody debris, gravel beds, move rocks, and generally be itself is essential for all species that depend on the river, including humans.
Buffers are living systems. Humans have lived among the natural systems of the White Salmon for millennia, and no doubt there have been foot paths down to the river throughout human existence in this area. Animals make paths, too. Our current ability and willingness to do damage to natural systems, however, is unprecedented, and it comes at a dangerous time with the growing impacts of climate change.
We can’t stop human migration, including the on-going migration of people into the White Salmon watershed. We can, and must, take every step to protect the natural resources that are needed to nurture and sustain not only the human population but the entire diverse community of plants, animals, fish, and insects that live here. We are past the point where we can continue to exploit the natural systems without severe damage to our own ability to survive.
Enough. Protect the river.
This is a picture provided by the applicant in the application. This is what the current "buffer" looks like.
Update on the application for a private launch site in Husum. I'm not great with this picture stuff, but the yellow line in the picture below shows the width of the undisturbed buffer that's supposed to be, which is 50' of undisturbed vegetation. Fifty feet isn't nearly enough for a healthy buffer, but that's what's required.
The Wild & Scenic Management Plan calls for 100' in this area.
The actual buffer is a pitiful thing, complete with grading within the 50 ' boundary. Don't be confused by the shadows of trees.
I don't know who did the grading. I don't think it was the applicant, but it doesn't matter who did it - the damage is severe and real.
The County should not permit more damage in the form of a hardened launch path.
I will be posting the FWSR comments on our website as soon as I can. In the meantime, in my next post, check out our general perspective on this.