Stunning News from SDS

Stunning News from SDS

Stunning news from SDS this week.  A press release on September 21 says ““Under the leadership of the board, SDS will evaluate its options, including a sale of the mill and timberland businesses. “ 

If the mill and timber business go away, what is left for the land? 

The press release also announces major changes in the composition of the SDS board, including the addition of “Sandy McDade, who joins as board chair and who spent 34 years at Weyerhaeuser, including as senior vice president and general counsel; Bill Brown, former president of Green Diamond Resource Company and chief financial officer of Plum Creek Timber Company; and Clyde Hamstreet, founder of the business consultancy Hamstreet & Associates.” 

Hamstreet’s website describes the company this way.  “Hamstreet & Associates works with troubled companies to manage crisis and improve financial results. We specialize in evaluating the core issues, finding solutions, and helping our clients respond effectively.”

We have been hearing for months that something like this was coming as a result of family member (shareholder) disagreements over how much income was being generated by the company.   Obviously, one way to generate more income with less hassle is to get into the real estate business, particularly residential real estate.  This is a scary prospect for the White Salmon River.

The time has come to ramp up our activity around the Spring Creek parcels and all the parcels in the Wild & Scenic Management Boundary.  The opportunity to save these parcels may be gone soon.

 

“Ribbon of Life” Series by Rachel Haymon

The clean, cold, cascading water of the White Salmon River, flowing from Mount Adams glaciers and pristine springs to the Columbia River, supports and attracts a tremendous diversity of flora and fauna. It is the pulsing heart of our local ecosystems. FWSR’s “Ribbon of Life” blog series highlights eyewitness accounts and images of the many delightful species who rely upon the remarkable qualities of the White Salmon River.

Posting #1: The American Dipper

Above the rushing sound of foaming whitewater, high-pitched whistles and trills rise from the White Salmon River into the cool morning air. Suddenly, one of the many small grey lava rocks protruding above the water’s surface in midstream unexpectedly moves and mysteriously disappears beneath the surface of the icy water. After several moments, an American Dipper (also called “water ouzel”) pops up in a small pool at the water’s edge and hops onto the dry surface of a tall rock. It takes a bow, followed by another, and then another, dipping up and down repeatedly before settling down to preen its dark bluish-grey plumage. This amazing swimming songbird forages on aquatic insects, larvae, small fish, tadpoles, crayfish, and fish eggs by diving, swimming, and wading through the swift water, utterly undaunted by frigid strong currents. The Dipper lowers a clear membrane over its eyes to see underwater, seals water out of its nostrils with scales, and navigates using eddies and backflows to its advantage. There it sits, on a rock that formed tens to hundreds of thousands of years ago from cooling magma flows on Mount Adams, warming up and grooming its “dry suit” of feathers into perfect well-oiled condition, as needed to insulate the Dipper from the freezing waters. After ten minutes, it flies low over the water to another rock downstream, and then dives back into the river to continue its hunt for food. The American Dipper, while declining across the West from poor land management practices that have caused habitat degradation and loss, pollution, and riverbank erosion, is still thriving in the White Salmon River! A joy to see!

 

URGENT! TAKE ACTION!!

The clock is now ticking. Klickitat County has issued their SEPA (State Environmental Protection Act) determination for the Under Canvas project. They have chosen a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS), not okay. It is dated August 27, but they were slow getting it out. Comment and appeal period end on September 18. You can read the MDNS here. The MDNS is based on their review of the applicant’s SEPA checklist [here]. The checklist is long and complicated. We will be posting a suggested letter by the end of this week. Check back here to see it.