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Office of Chehalis Basin Public Meeting - Shared screen with speaker view
Art Manzer
Hello wonderful people!
David Ortman
Question: At one of the last of these public meetings, a representive of the Seattle District, Corps of Engineers undermined the entire public process by declaring that there were no alternatives to the Corps preferred dam project. So what is the purpose of this meeting?
*Edna Fund (Board member)
not Ecology - WSDOT - Bart
Isn't Bart G from WSDOT?
Morgan Wolff
Can the public attend the board meetings?
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
yes, the board meetings are open to the public and each meeting provides time for public comment.
Morgan Wolff
Thank you
Teri Franklin
Where is the meeting tomorrow being held and what time?
Naomi Elliott
Can you provide the Zoom link for the meeting?
*Ken Ghalambor [Zoom Meeting Host]
The meeting runs from 9am-12pm. The information can be found here: https://www.ezview.wa.gov/site/alias__1962/37068/chehalis_basin_board.aspx
Naomi Elliott
@Ken, Thank you
lee first
Who will own, operate, and pay to maintain the dam?
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
The ownership of the dam is not decided. The Lewis County Flood Control Zone District is the proponent and is funded by the State for this initial stage of work.
Steve Hinton
Where might we find the analysis supporting this figure?
Teri Wright
How was the timeline changed once Governor Inslee requested a "pause" and a look at non-dam alternatives? Did the OCB receive more time in order to thoroughly investigate alternatives?
lee first
How is it possible to try to build a dam when the ownership of the dam isn’t decided?
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Steve Hinton, we can provide you with the board notes that supported the development of the map Andrea showed.
Steve Hinton
Thank you Jim
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Andrea will talk about how the pause created more time for investigation of options.
Anne Reese
How, if any, does the ACOE dredging project of the channel in Grays Harbor improve or impact the Chehalis Basin?
Teri Wright
Thanks Jim.
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
My understanding of the dredging in Grays Harbor is for navigation. It would not have a impact flooding upstream.
David Ortman
The Wyoochee and Satsop subbasins are two of the highest eroding watersheds in the Chehalis Basin, due to lack of state enforcement of forestry practices on DNR and private timber lands, particularly from forest roads. Sediment from these two subbasins continue to pour into the Grays Harbor estuary where Corps dredging is carried out. A slide showed that restoration efforts were taking place only from Wynoochee river mile 14.0-16.2 and Satsop river mile 7.8-10.8. What else is proposed to restore these two subbasins?
Teri Franklin
How is it when this dam was first brought up the Corp. told us they were tearing dams down not giving permits for them and we continue to waste money in this area. How much have we spent and what part of NO don't you understand?
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
In regard to the Wynoochee and Satsop Rivers, they are two of the high priority areas for miles of restoration.
Ron Figlar-Barnes
Is this new analyses available for public review?
Teri Wright
Where can we find these analyses?
Steve Hinton
1200 families being impacts is significant. Has the review been focused on how we can relieve the impacts to these families specifically? And at least cost to the tax payers as a whole?
Anne Reese
Are these reports only available on the Dept of Ecology website or are there also links on the Chehalis Basin Stategy website?
David Ortman
TO: Jim Kramer. Will the private forest industry pay to restore the damage they have done to the Wynoochee and Satsop Subbasins or will these costs be borne by the taxpayer?
Sawyer Solomon
how can you look at a report that says it will reduce populations of salmon which are already in trouble and decide that a dam is a good idea?
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Many of the analyses are available on the Chehalis Basin Strategy website. Let us know if there is something else that you would like.
lee first
If the dam is built, sites of significant cultural importance will be inundated. How will this be mitigated?
*Ken Ghalambor [Zoom Meeting Host]
All materials from Chehalis Basin Board meetings are posted here: https://www.ezview.wa.gov/site/alias__1962/37068/chehalis_basin_board.aspx
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Alternatives to the dam are have been and are continuing to be explored. Andrea will mention this work in her presentation.
Ronald Olson
Can someone clean the “RED” lines from the screen?
*Ken Ghalambor [Zoom Meeting Host]
The Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District has posted files regarding the proposed dam on their website here, including their Draft Mitigation Opportunities Assessment Report: https://www.chehalisriverbasinfczd.com/eis-supporting-documents
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
David Ortman, there is no proposal at this time for private forest landowners to pay for restoration beyond what is required as part of the state Forest Practices rules.
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
The red is a mystery to us and not sure how to get rid of it. Sorry!
james martinez
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
The impacts of the dam on cultural resources is currently being discussed by the Corps/Ecology with the tribes and others. There is no conclusion on the ability to mitigate those impacts.
Karen Davis
That’s because it’s impossible to mitigate that
Ron Figlar-Barnes
The dam is on pause ?
David Ortman
Will the SEPA/NEPA FEISs respond to comments on these documents?
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Ron, Andrea just mentioned the current work that is happening in regard to the dam. In response to the Governor, work on the dam has continued to assess the ability to avoid, reduce or mitigate the impacts of the dam.
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
David, my understanding is that both SEPA and NEPA final EISs will respond to the comments received on the drafts.
Sawyer Solomon
part of the erosion problem is due to the nutria that have taken a very strong hold in the basin
Phillip V
What is the RED SCRIBBLE located on the screen throughout this webcast? May want to clear that. =)
lee first
The red scribble is very distracting!
David Ortman
TO: Jim Kramer. Perhaps I was not clear: Will the lead agencies respond in writing to comments ON the FEISs when they are released?
Karen Davis
What about Weyerhaeuser? Why are they allowed to clear-cut along the river? That’s a huge contributor to the problem!
DK Reed
What time does the meeting begin tomorrow morning?
Tammy Domike
You know when kids get a hold of the Sharpies, you just can’t clean that wall. No matter what the paint can promised.
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
David, I can't speak to exactly how Ecology and the Corps will respond specially to comments. We will continue to ask them how they plan to respond.
*Ken Ghalambor [Zoom Meeting Host]
DK, the Board meeting starts at 9am tomorrow. You can find the agenda here: https://www.ezview.wa.gov/site/alias__1962/37068/chehalis_basin_board.aspx
Steve Hinton
I'm concerned this climate analysis is "initial". Do we believe more than 1200 families will be impacted? Wasn't the SEPA and NEPA analysis tasked with evaluating this possibility?
Nat Kale
Jim, I believe you want to "disable attendee annotation"
Jerilyn Walley
Three harvest hasn’t within 50-100 feet of the river hasn’t been allowed in the last few years.
Ron Figlar-Barnes
Does that include the possibility of raising I-5 above the floodplain?
Naomi Elliott
Hang in there Andrea!
Jerilyn Walley
You’ve got this Andrea.
Tammy Domike
Take a drink, Andrea!
Karen Davis
Forests that are young or that have been clear-cut can’t retain soil during heavy rains. It doesn’t matter whether or not they are within 100 feet of the river. They will still massively erode in heavy rains. We need to manage forests so they retain moisture. If that were done properly it would negate the need for this ridiculous dam.
Sawyer Solomon
have you considered the effects of the nutria to the banks of the River?
Teri Franklin
I tried to get DNR to the table from 2000 to 2012 did you ever get them to the table?
lee first
The number of landslides in the headwaters are is numbing. It’s very disturbing that huge areas were allowed to be cut on steep slopes with unstable soils.
Arthur Grunbaum
As new studies are released, will the public have an opportunity to respond with questions on these?
Teri Franklin
If you question the forest practice applications then I find that you are ignored anyway or the forester gets offended.
Lauren Kuehne
Is there an estimate on the life span of the dam (i.e., how long before it would need to be repaired/replaced?)
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Lauren, there is no official estimate for the life of the dam. It has been suggested by engineers that it could last for more than 150 years. The life of some dams is compromised by sediment filling up the reservoir. That is not expected to happen with this proposed facility because the river flows through it except during major flood events.
Jerilyn Walley
Is it possible to zoom in on each of those maps?
Timothy Smith
Point of clarification: Am I understanding you correctly that the river will be free flowing through the dam at all times except during floods? There will normally be no impounded water? Is that what you mean by flow "except during major flood events"?
Sandy Blakely
ok not a question but I had trouble getting in first only video and then only screens. I actually drew a circle around my location and a line to show where Berwick creek is. 2 doors down. lol. I can't erase it ( drawn in red) because I wasn't on at the time. I think it's the red lines your seeing
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Don, restoring wetlands and floodplain areas has been looked at and the results don't indicate that approach can address the damage in major floods because the Chehalis floodplain is largely flooded valley wall to valley wall in major floods. We are continuing to look at structures like levees, floodproofing structures and buy properties from willing sellers as well as land use management to prevent more floodprone development.
Jim Weber
What is the usual project lifespan used by the Corps of Engineers for calculating the costs and benefits of a proposed project? Also, how does the choice of a project lifespan affect the project cost-benefit analysis?
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Timothy, your are correct. The dam is proposed only to reduce the flow through the dam during major flood events.
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Jim, I don't know what assumptions the Corp uses but we will check.
Timothy Smith
Am I correct to assume substantial areas of timber and terrestrial vegetation will still not survive, or is there hope that the terrestrial vegetation currently in place will survive periodic flooding since the period of flooding is reduced?
Timothy Smith
...That last question pertains to the area behind the dam.
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Timothy, the dam proponent, Lewis County Flood Control District recently completed a vegetation management plan that identifies how vegetation will change in different parts of the impoundment area. Survival and type of vegetation varies significant in different parts of the area. This information was not in the EISs.
David Linn
How is ASRP related to the dam?
David Ortman
Question: Have minimum stream flows been set for all streams/rivers in the Chehalis Basin? What about optimum stream flows?
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
David Linn, the ASRP has been intentionally kept separate from the dam and mitigation. The ASRP is not mitigation.
Ron Figlar-Barnes
Are the counties developing ordinances to stop development in the floodplain?
Kurtis Engle
Comments can be submitted via email. What is your address?
Anne Reese
What is the best website to find volunteer opportunities?
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
David Ortman, I don't know the answer to your questions about stream flows. I know that basin is overappropriated. We can get the answer to your questions.
Kirsten Harma
For volunteer opportunities, look to www.chehalisleadentity.org
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Ron, counties have regulations that limit development in the floodplain. The Chehalis Board is discussing additional recommendations for local governments.
Naomi Elliott
@Kirsten, Thank you
Ron Figlar-Barnes
Thank you Jim.
*Ken Ghalambor [Zoom Meeting Host]
Comments on the Chehalis Basin Strategy can be emailed to info@chehalisbasinstrategy.com and they will be shared with Office of Chehalis Basin staff
*Jim Kramer (Facilitator)
Don, there are graphics in the EISs that show the impacts of the dam on salmon. There has not yet been a cross comparison between the dam impacts and the ASRP.
Kurtis Engle
Thank you, Ken. Copy-n-pasted.
Patrick Pringle
The natural (pre-development) Chehalis River floodplain narrows near the airport to ~1.8 km width. In this area, pediments of engineered fill have been constructed atop the natural floodplain for commercial development. Levees of course have also been constructed. Because of the development and the levees, the effective diameter of the valley narrows to 0.9 km, or 1/2 the width of the natural floodplain there. As a result, the airport levee system and the pediments where the valley has been narrowed cause hydraulic ponding in the upstream direction (south) and reduce the storage capacity of the floodplain and also lower the potential discharge capacity significantly at full flood flow. This exacerbates flooding to the south of this location owing to the low gradient in that reach. Between river mile 66 near Centralia and river mile 77, eleven miles to the south at Chehalis, that gradient is ~0.35 ft/mile, or roughly only four inches per mile—quite flat and easily foldable. What are plans for facing this?
Steve Hinton
What strategies are actually being forwarded to the Board at this juncture?
Jerilyn Walley
Is it feasible and/or realistic ti raise I5 to allow for waterrflow and fish passage in the Chehalish area?
Joe Hiss
Will bd mtgs be open to public?
Patrick Pringle
I meant to say “easily floodable” in my question, but autocorrect changed it to “foldable”.
Timothy Smith
This has been an excellent presentation. Thank you, Andrea, Jim and Ken.
*Ken Ghalambor [Zoom Meeting Host]
Joe, Board meetings are open to the public. Information on tomorrow's meeting is available here: https://www.ezview.wa.gov/site/alias__1962/37068/chehalis_basin_board.aspx
Anne Reese
Well presented and good summary of both flood and habitat elements of the strategy. Thank you to Andrea, Jim and Ken.
Kim Ashmore
Thank you for all the information, great presentation.
Debbie Campbell
Excellent! Thank you so much for the presentation.
Patrick Pringle
I agree. Excellent presentation. Andrea and others, thank you.
*Vickie Raines (Board member)
Thank you to everyone who attended tonight and took time out of their evening to participate, it is greatly appreciated.
Cindy Hansen
I would like to make a brief comment if there is time, but the hand raising feature is not showing up for me.
Krestine Reed
Your presentation is greatly appreciated. We have more info to ponder and work.
Ron Figlar-Barnes
Hand raising is under the "reactions" tab/button.
Cindy Hansen
Just found it thanks!
*Jay Gordon (Board member)
I did not bring that up
Teri Wright
Thanks Andrea -- very kind of you.
Naomi Elliott
Ron you need to mute one of your devices to avoid the echo
David Ortman
Oral comments submitted: My name is David E. Ortman, Seattle, WA, formerly the Director of the Friends of the Earth Northwest Office and I am submitting the following comments:Ecology has always paid mere lip service to public participation. It is not helpful to advertise a public meeting as having 30 minutes for comments and then running overtime.This Question submitted at the beginning of the meeting was not read as submitted: At one of the last of these public meetings, a representative of the Seattle District, Corps of Engineers undermined the entire public process by declaring that there were no alternatives to the Corps preferred dam project. So what is the purpose of this meeting?In 2012, the Seattle Corps District, despite warning, embarked on a Shoalwater Bay Barrier Dune, two miles long and over 20 feet high of dredge spoils costing tens of millions of dollars in Willapa Bay. Between 2015-2016 three major storms had done significant damaging to the sand berm.
Teri Franklin
I don't have the equipment for you to here me. Has DNR come to the table and gotten involved?
David Ortman
David E. Ortman comments continued:
David Ortman
David E. Ortman comments continued: In 2018, more of the berm washed away, resulting in the Corps contracting for 10,000 tons of rocks. And yet, in January and November 2020, more major storms tore away more of the berm.Go to Willapa Bay and review the Corps history of its great wall of China berm and decide for yourself whether you trust any engineering recommendations made by the Corps for the feasibility of a new Chehalis River dam.
Krestine Reed
Naomi Elliott
Jerilyn Walley
Orca also prey on chum.It’s their second preferred prey.
Jerilyn Walley
A new calf is great news.
Tammy Domike
Thank you Cindy!
David Linn
Has WDFW had any input on this project?
Vince Panesko
I own 160 acres of timber immediately upriver from the dam. DNR has prohibited logging on over 20 acres along the river to protect fish and water quality. If the dam is built, Lewis County gets to log over $100,000 of my timber without mitigation. Such logging of the reservoir area will cause continual damage to fish and water quality year after year. No mitigation exists.
Teri Wright
Approximately 80 percent of the Southern Resident orca diet consists of Chinook salmon,
Lauren Kuehne
I tried raising a hand using 'reactions' but am not sure it showed up? I also still don't see the 'raise hand' button..
lee first
A study on hydrologic impacts from forest practices should have been done years ago.
Teri Franklin
Well where did all the hydrology layers come from that are used in the fspar (GIS) system come from? There must be some type of way to do this without waiting years.
Jerilyn Walley
How involved is WSDOT been in these discussions?
Cindy Hansen
Thank you for staying on late and allowing us to comment!
Larry Phillips
Thanks everyone.
Naomi Elliott
Thank you for the very informative meeting as I'm new to this area.
Jerilyn Walley
Thanks for such a great presentation and for all you time and effort on this project.
Nita Kolze
Excellent presentation! Thank you
*Ken Ghalambor [Zoom Meeting Host]
Tammy Domike
Thanks everyone! Rest your throat, Andrea!
Mara Zimmerman
Thank you!