Washington State Court of Appeals Hearing March 30th!

River People…

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.

For a short history of the appeal and a map. see:

http://crag.org/2012/03/06/white-salmon-river-valley-water-threatened/

and for information on the victory in Superior Court, see:

http://crag.org/2013/06/11/the-little-river-that-could/

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:

dottie@friendsofthewhitesalmon.org (208-867-9849) for transportation information

Washington State Court of Appeals Hearing

BZ Launch Site Trail Clean-up October 26th

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.

Natural History Rafting Trip for FWSR members and guests!

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.

White Salmon Riverfest & Symposium is coming up!

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.

For more information about the White Salmon Riverfest & Symposium: contact jaco@wetplanetwhitewater.com, www.wetplanetwhitewater.com, or call 509.493.8989.

Friends of the White Salmon Rafting Trip!

You are invited to join us on June 8th for a special extended raft trip and natural history tour of the White Salmon River!

Zoller’s Outdoor Odyssey has agreed to provide a natural history tour of the White Salmon River. In addition to a great whitewater adventure, this trip will include additional stops and opportunities to explore the geology, waterfalls, wildlife, and plants of the White Salmon River. This is a great opportunity to learn about the unique natural history of the river through a more intimate river experience. We have hand picked some of the most knowledgeable guides to lead our tour, so don’t miss out.

Space is limited to 18 members of Friends of the White Salmon River. The trip will cost $55. If you’re not a member, we’re offering discounted memberships at $15. Sign up soon!

When:    Saturday June 8th, 9:00am to 1:30pm
Where:   Zoller’s Outdoor Odyssey: directions.
Cost:      $55 for current members,
               $70 for new members
Reservations via e-mail: 
pat.arnold@friendsofthewhitesalmon.org 

Friends Annual Meeting and Bill Sharp Presentation April 9th, 6:00pm at the White Salmon Library

Join us for our annual membership meeting on April 9th. Friends will be giving a short update on the state of the organization followed by a presentation from Bill Sharp on the status of fish recovery on the White Salmon River. As an extra incentive, we will also have homemade pie by Patty Gray for refreshment!

We will be holding a short Board meeting at 5:45, then commence with presentations around 6:00. Pat Arnold will give a brief update on the organization and then Bill Sharp from Yakama Nation Fisheries will provide an update on salmon and steelhead recovery and habitat restoration efforts. Stay tuned for more details in next month’s newsletter.

If you are interested in getting involved with Friends of the White Salmon River, this will be a great chance to meet our board and learn about volunteer opportunities!