This summer Friends collaborated with the Orca Conservancy and The Snoqualmie Community Action Network (SCAN) on a project measuring the water temperature in the Snoqualmie River. This “citizen science” project provided data to the Orca Conservancy in their efforts to track the impact of our river temperatures on fish and Orca populations.
In addition to the Snoqualmie River temperature data collected this summer, we plan to put together visual messaging to decision makers about the condition of the river. To do this, we need a large batch of photos that show how low the water level has gotten. If you can spare a few minutes this Saturday, please help us out. Please read the announcement below for information on how and when to take and submit photos.
Thank you so much,
Jean Buckner – President – Friends of The Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River
The SNOQUALMIE RIVER Picture Challenge!
Join Us for the Snoqualmie River Picture Challenge
The Problem: The Snoqualmie River is at an all-time (60 year!) low in terms of flow. Proper river flow is critical to the survival of local fish and wildlife. In addition, our river offers miles of Chinook habitat below the falls. These Chinook feed our Southern Resident Orca in Puget Sound (80% of the Orca’s diet consists of Chinook Salmon). A lack of river flow has a negative cascading effect from the Cascade mountains to Puget Sound. Conversely, a proper flow has a positive cascading effect.
Many decision makers are not fully aware of just how bad things have gotten on the Snoqualmie. Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, we believe pictures of the river at this critical time will help deliver that message. We also want to use the pictures in a newspaper story about the river we plan to run soon.
Will you help us?
We want to collect 50 or more simultaneously taken pictures of the Snoqualmie River during this low flow period.
Friends of Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River,
The Snoqualmie Community Action Network (SCAN) and
The Orca Conservancy
What: Snoqualmie River Picture Challenge
When: 12 NOON Saturday October 15th .
We will simultaneously take pictures of the river at the same time (12 NOON) on the same day (Saturday October 15th)
Where: Pick a spot anywhere on the river
· One picture (preferably in jpg or png format)
· a copy and paste of the following form, which covers:
o A release form (so we can use your picture in print and digital stories and reports).
o The location of your picture (either a description of where it was taken and/or the locations latitude and longitude). There are a few free aps (for example Polaris) you can download on your phone if you are interested in providing this information. Your phone may also be set to automatically allow the lat and long to accompany the picture. Lats and Longs are NOT required to participate, but please provide at least a description.
Picture Release and Location Info Form
(your home address)
hereby give my permission to The Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River, Snoqualmie Community Action Network (SCAN) and the Orca Conservancy to use the attached picture(s) for the purpose of informing and educating the community about the status of the Snoqualmie River.
Signature : ______________________________ Date: ___/___/___
(If you don’t have a scanner, we will use a typed version of your name on the signature line above as your signature)
Please send your picture and this release form to: email@example.com by Sunday evening, October 16th.
Description of picture location: ____________________________________________
Latitude and longitude (not required) of location:
Lat: ________________________ Long: _______________________________
Please send your picture and this release/location form to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday evening, October 16th. AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PARTICIPATING!
IMPORTANT UPDATE ON NORTH BEND WATER CRISIS- 8/18/2022
(BE SURE TO SEE 2021 AND 2022 ADDITIONS BELOW)
A Timeline to a Train Wreck – The Truth Behind North Bend’s Water Crisis
August 2022 Update
1991 – 2009 For 17+ years, North Bend misread the amount of water they were taking from the Snoqualmie River. This error led to their taking substantially more water, often more than twice the amount allowed under their water permit at the time. Discovery of the error led to North Bend agreeing to enter a building moratorium. Many argue this moratorium should not have been lifted. Read the following and see what you think.
2006 During preparation of the requirements for a new well water source for North Bend, Department of Ecology (DOE) disregarded internal staff warnings that North Bend’s mitigation plans (which outlined how to replace water taken from the Snoqualmie River beyond a certain daily amount) could be likened to a “paper shuffle” that would appear to solve the problem, but in fact would allow “more water to be pulled from an already impaired river.”
2007-2009 DOE processed and issued North Bend a Contested Water Right Permit which allowed the City to draw water from the Centennial Well and lift their building moratorium. (Note: There are contingencies in the permit that have not yet been met. )
Because the well is in such close proximity to the Snoqualmie River and essentially draws water from the river, this water permit requires the City to have water to “mitigate” the drawdown of the river during times of low flow. North Bend’s existing sole source of mitigation water was considered unreliable and inadequate, so DOE required that North Bend secure a second source of mitigation water as a requirement of the permit. To this day, North Bend has not secured the required second source.
The one source they presently have is Hobo Springs which is owned by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). Per the North Bend/SPU contract, SPU can use the water for 4 other uses BEFORE North Bend can reliably secure the water for mitigation. Thus, SPU does not guarantee any water to North Bend. In addition, Hobo Springs essentially went dry in 2015. We argue Hobo Springs should n ever have been considered a reliable mitigation source.
When drafting the permit, DOE proposed an option that North Bend and Sallal (a member owned water system) sign a contract and that Sallal would sell water to North Bend for mitigation. The first problem with this strategy is that North Bend’s Centennial well and the Sallal wells are in the same Snoqualmie River Watershed. Water taken from these wells is pulled from the same source – the Snoqualmie River Watershed. This plan would take water from the Snoqualmie River to pay back the Snoqualmie River. This strategy is a shell game called out by DOE staff at the time. They were ignored. (FYI Sallal doesn’t have to ‘mitigate’ their wells because their water permit was approved during a period of time when mitigation requirements were on the books, but not enforced due to technical definitions used at the time. This loophole was later closed by the Courts so any additional water Sallal might secure in the future would have to be mitigated. North Bend’s water right permit came after this court ruling and therefore mitigation was required from the first drop.
For years North Bend made it appear as if Sallal Wells were online by including a column for Sallal water in their official yearly Mitigation Reports to DOE.
AND in the official 2015 Mitigation Report the City claimed that a contract with Sallal had been signed and even gave false details on the amount of water involved. The truth is that there was no agreement signed back in 2015 – nor to this day.
Back in 2009, DOE assumed Sallal had sufficient water to spare and assumed that Sallal’s Member/Owners and Board would agree to sell their water to North Bend. Such has not been the case.
2021 Last year, North Bend’s Water System Plan (WSP) was approved for 5 years instead of the customary 10-year period. This shortened approval period was an attempt to give the City time to attain a second required mitigation source. None of the solutions as outlined in the North Bends WSP have come to fruition, including the following:
· A contract to secure Sallal water for mitigation ( after 14 years)
· The Cascade Golf Course well and pond. We and others opposed this source for several reasons and understand it has been taken off the table.
· A proven Water Conservation Ordinance (WCO) – Until the City stops issuing water certificates, many residents don’t want to lose shrubs and trees and increase the danger of Wildfires from dry shrubs so that North Bend can continue to hand out water certificates to new developments. Citizens are willing to conserve water to help the River – but not to enable the City to transfer water to new developers. Many local residents consider this a “Water Transfer Ordinance” and it has not yet been proven to work over multiple years. (Note: we understand that WCO water can’t be considered mitigation water.)
An overwhelming majority of North Bend Citizens want access to a reasonable supply of water for their homes, trees, plants and for protection against wildfires. They also want our Chinook, Orca and other wildlife to survive and flourish and not fade away into extinction.
The Executive Summary of the City’s current WSP states:
“Under present peak summer demand, if a drier summer were to occur, the flows at Hobo Springs (the only current mitigation source) would be at or just below those required to properly mitigate water demand.”
So essentially, the City is betting we won’t have a dry year until additional mitigation is on line (whenever and whatever that may be), and until then additional growth can occur. We believe they are guilty of gambling with our River and our water supply. Betting that it will rain is not a plan.
We, our River, our Salmon and Orca (which survive on Salmon) will be forced to pay for their serious mistakes and miscalculations.
2022 Due to North Bend’s inability to deliver the mitigation sources outlined in their Water System Plan, the City Council approved roughly $100,000 funding for an attorney (Bill AB22-083) and a lobbyist (Bill AB22-084) to find “creative solutions” or “creative options” to their mitigation problem. Following is language pulled from both bills:
“Given the lack of success in our negotiations with the Sallal Water District to obtain mitigation water supply we are in need of ….
· “creative solutions” (from) legal water experts” (Bill AB22-083)
· “ legislative relief to provide creative options through the state legislature.” (Bill AB22-084)
These bills can be found at: https://northbendwa.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5888
A question - Will these “creative solutions and options” produce any new real mitigation sources? Or would these solutions only provide “paper water” to the Snoqualmie River? Fish can’t swim in paper water.
This slow-motion train wreck has been heading our way for some time and warnings have been ignored.
Our next post will include our recommendations as to actions we believe citizens should consider taking to defend our River and water supply.
FIRIEDS UPDATE 4/26/2022
Our River Temperature Projet Made the NEWS! See below from the Snoqualmie Valley Record
Volunteers needed for water temperature study on Snoqualmie River By Record Staff • April 25, 2022 3:00 pm
The Snoqualmie River near Park Avenue in Snoqualmie. Photo William Shaw/Valley Record.
Three conservation nonprofits are looking for volunteers to measure water temperatures in the Snoqualmie River over the next few months. The study is an effort to build awareness of how land use affects water temperature and how temperature increases impact Chinook salmon and orca populations. The Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River, Snoqualmie Community Action Network and Orca Conservancy will host an hour and a half long volunteer training beginning at 11 a.m. on May 7 at the North Bend Library. After completion of the training, volunteers will spend 15 minutes each month between May and September taking and reporting river temperatures. Those interested in participating can sign up until May 5. Email your name and email address to email@example.com (for North Bend residents) or Snoqualmieaction@gmail.com (for Snoqualmie residents.) To learn more, visit: fosvtr.org and click on the ‘news & documentation’ page.
FRIENDS UPDATE –- 4/14/2022
Snoqualmie River Temperature Project Training JOIN US!
FRIENDS of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River
Snoqualmie Community Action Network (SCAN)
NOAA (https://www.noaa.gov/) will be joining us!
Water Temperature Testing Overview & Training
WHERE: North Bend Library 115 E 4th Street North Bend, WA 98045
WHEN: Saturday, May 7th 11:00 AM to 12:30PM
GOAL: To monitor and build awareness of how land use affects water temperatures, and in turn how water temperature affects Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) - Chinook Salmon are dependent on cool Rivers and represent 80+% of SRKWs diet.
TIME COMMITMENT: Training will take approximately 1 and ½ hours • Two-person teams will provide monthly River Temperature readings between May 2022 and Sept. 2022, tentatively set for 10:00 AM, the 2nd Saturday of every month. • The Orca Conservancy will loan thermometers to volunteers to take to your destination. Once there, the actual testing should take about 5 to 10 minutes. We will work in teams – so let us know if you have a partner OR if you would like us to assign you one.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING: Please sign-up ASAP and before May 5th by sending us your name and email address (phone optional) to the following emails dependent upon where you live:
For North Bend Area Residents: Please submit your information to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
For Snoqualmie Area Residents: Please submit your information to Snoqualmieaction@gmail.com
Additional Information will be coming as we get closer to the date.
RESOURCE: The following article (Taking the temperature of salmon) will provide some context for our training.
FRIENDS UPDATE – 12/28/2021
The Majority of North Bend Residents AND the Facts are on Our Side
From the various polls we’ve run, a LARGE majority of North Bend residents agree with our goals to safeguard and preserve the natural beauty and open spaces that embody the rural character of North Bend, and to protect the health of our Snoqualmie River and the species that depend upon her.
From the exhaustive research we’ve done, we strongly believe the facts are also on our side.
Over the next few weeks and months and with help from our Hydrogeologist, we will publish those facts. We believe they will prove the City of North Bend does not have a viable plan to mitigate* the Snoqualmie River. This critical ability to mitigate was required by North Bend’s Water Right Permit in the 2008/2009 timeframe - when the permit was granted. Upon receiving the permit, the City ended their building moratorium but has not, to this day, secured the required full mitigation capability.
Besides donating to help cover the expenses of our hydrogeologist (as outlined in previous updates) and donating your time – People are asking what else they can do to help.
You (or like-minded friends you might be able to encourage) may want to consider running for a City leadership position. Several seats are up in 2023.
To make a donation before the end of the year, please visit our GoFundMe Page at: https://www.gofundme.com/Friends-of-The-Snoqualmie-Valley-Trail-and-River. Donations made before the end of the year may qualify for the IRS special deduction allowance for 2021.
*mitigate – pay the river back for water taken above an allowed amount
UPDATE - PROGRESS ON NEW DIRECTION - MONITORING THE CITY OF NORTH BEND
As discussed in our last update, we and our attorney determined that focusing on immediate and short-term monitoring of the City’s water related challenges was preferable to pursuing a costly and longer-term legal strategy that could take years and end with no real impact. And WE’VE MADE GREAT PROGRESS! Our hydrogeologist and President visited and began collecting data on the following:
1. The adequacy of Hobo Springs (North Bends only source of mitigation water for The Snoqualmie River located near Rattlesnake Lake) and the status of the City’s Expansion Project. We will have more to report on the City’s problems related to these questions soon.
2. The Sallal Wells – Are they appropriate for mitigation?
3. Cedar River Apartments - The Mule Pasture as viewed from the street – Per City Staff and the City’s website, the anticipated approval of building permits for the apartment buildings has not yet occurred (as of 12/17/2021). Clearing and Grading permits (which can include utilities, streets etc.) have been approved.
Using City and other data, we will attempt to answer outstanding questions related to floodplains and other hydrological questions related to the site.
4. The Cascade Pond and Well – (located near the Snoqualmie River at South Fork Landing Frisbee Park) - The City is considering changing their plans related to this water source and may not use it for mitigation – but as a source of drinking water. What is the impact of this change?
5. The Sewage Treatment Facility’s impact on Snoqualmie River Flows and temperature (Yes, the City can use the return treated water as contributing to the flow of the River.)
6. The proposed National Guard Site – and the impact of the equivalent of water used by 398 homes on the River as well as the impact of a huge parking lot for 6,675 pieces of military vehicles and “rolling stock” (this is the current number of vehicles at their current location)
We will report our findings to YOU, the State Departments of Health and Ecology, The City, and other relevant parties.
Please help us fully fund initial phases of these studies. We anticipate the initial assessments will take approximately $5,000. Please consider donating to this effort at: https://www.gofundme.com/Friends-of-The-Snoqualmie-Valley-Trail-and-River
As a reminder Michael Thomas' previous challenge grant remains open which matches contributions to the end of 2021 subject to a cumulative sum of $2500. For more details see the prior update below on our GoFundMe site.
The Friends is a 501 C3 not-for-profit organization and your donations may reduce your taxes. Furthermore by IRS donations (up to $300 single/$600 married) may be deductible for non-itemizers for 2020 and 2021 (see https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/expanded-tax-benefits-help-individuals-and-businesses-give-to-charity-in-2021). Consult a tax professional for your situation.
ALSO, if you have TIME you would like to donate to our cause – please write us at email@example.com. (Note – time provided is not tax deductible).
The Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River
Tomorrow is GIVING TUESDAY. Please consider giving tomorrow to help us meet our challenge grant (details below)! Please keep FRIENDS, our River and Water Supply in mind in the event you plan to make a gift before the end of the year.
You can donate at: https://www.gofundme.com/Friends-of-The-Snoqualmie-Valley-Trail-and-River. We will use the money to pay for the Hydrogeologist and possibly other consultants if needed to monitor the City’s performance relative to the Water System Plan and other commitments they’ve made. There are new IRS rules this year that allow people who do not itemize to receive up to $600 in deductions for donations to nonprofit 501c3 organizations (such as Friends) for both the 2020 and 2021 tax years. As always, ask your tax professional about this possible deduction. Information on these deductions can be found at the following IRS webpage:
Please see more details in our update below:
FRIENDS Update and NEW Challenge Grant
As promised in our previous update (https://www.gofundme.com/f/take-the-snoqualmie-river-challenge) we are back in touch to tell you how we plan to move forward toward accomplishing our goal of protecting the River and our water supply.
At this point, our path forward does not include a legal appeal. We determined that the appeal would have absorbed an incredible amount of time and money and likely not produced any tangible change in the City’s short or intermediate term actions.
We determined money could be better spent aggressively monitoring and reporting the City’s performance relative to requirements outlined in the Water System Plan (you can download our critique of the WSP at https://ufile.io/x56gykq5) and elsewhere. In our opinion, the plan does not contain “bankable” mitigation solutions to protect the Snoqualmie River and our water supply. Assessing the viability of the City’s proposed mitigation strategies is key to our new strategy.
After working through our initial disappointment and holding numerous meetings amongst our Board, Core Team and Attorney, we unanimously decided to embark upon this new path. We believe this new approach will allow us to spend our time and resources in practical ways more likely to yield timely results.
We will MONITOR and REPORT the City’s current activities in the following areas:
- proposed large new developments that, without proper mitigation, may further deplete our River and water supply (we are asking for volunteers to help with this effort so please let us know if you are interested)
- progress (or lack thereof) securing REAL mitigation water sources and meeting their mitigation requirements. We’ve hired a hydrogeologist to support us in these endeavors.
We will report our findings to the City, the State Departments of Ecology and Health, King County, the Tribes, the press, our members and the community at large.
Also, starting January 2022 and in coordination with The Snoqualmie Tribe, NOAA, Orca Conservancy and The Snoqualmie Community Action Network (SCAN), Friends will be performing monthly monitoring of Snoqualmie River flows, temperatures and other variables to help track the River’s health. This project currently known as “The River Temp Project” will provide volunteers a great way to get hands on experience actively monitoring River health. We have a good number of volunteers, but the more we have, the more sites we can visit. If you are interested in joining us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
NEW CHALLENGE GRANT
To support these initiatives, our longtime supporter Michael Thomas is offering his fourth Challenge Grant! Michael will match the next $2500 in donations received between today and the end of 2021 dollar for dollar, up to a cumulative limit of $2500. If $2400 is received, then $2400 is matched; if $3000 is received then $2500 is matched. To make your donation, please visit our GoFundMe Page at: https://www.gofundme.com/Friends-of-The-Snoqualmie-Valley-Trail-and-River. All donations are greatly appreciated!
Also, consider looking into new IRS rules that allow people who do not itemize to receive up to $600 in deductions for donations to nonprofit 501c3 organizations (such as Friends) for both the 2020 and 2021 tax years. As always, ask your tax professional about this possible deduction. Information on these deductions can be found at the following IRS webpage:
Please send your questions or comments to us at email@example.com and we will try to answer them directly and in future posts. We are not giving up on our River or our water supply and hope you will join us as we press forward!
The Friends of The Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River
Post Note: As we were waiting to hear about funding decisions from two foundations during this period, we notified them of our pivot away from an appeal and toward aggressive monitoring. They both decided to move forward with their grants within the last few days and were genuinely excited about the potential of our new direction. Our new tact has also received favorable responses from several environmental and legal groups.
NEW Update on our Case
Update On Our Case
The City and State Department of Health prevailed in their second attempt to thwart a full airing of our case. Their motion claimed FRIENDS did not have “Standing” which essentially means they argued that Friends was not harmed by the passage of the Water System Plan. More on this below.
This Hearing was Not About The Merits of Our Case. We and our attorney maintain that the merits of our case are strong and compelling. We believe the facts support our argument that the River is at risk due to increasing demand with lack of adequate mitigation if there is a dry year.
According to our Attorney, Tom McDonald -
Friends did everything possible to reverse the Department of Health’s approval of the City’s water system plan. Unfortunately, the Department and the City made several motions to have the appeal denied before reaching the merits, which are compelling.
I am very disappointed we were not able to get to the merits because I believe the record clearly shows that the approval of the Water System Plan has allowed the City to approve developments and connections that will cause unmitigated impacts to the Snoqualmie River when minimum flows are not met.
Options Moving Forward:
We are discussing several option to pursue, including appealing the decision, which our attorney informs us is available through the Court of Appeals. We may pursue a number of avenues at the same time. We will keep you posted as soon as we make decisions.
More on standing -
The bar set for proving standing in this case reminds us of victims of violent crimes who are unable to secure protection from harm … until they are harmed. The court ruled that we did not show we are currently being harmed. This logic is frustrating to say the least, as the City’s own Water Supply Plan states that there is inadequate mitigation if there’s a dry year. What will happen if there’s a dry year before the required additional mitigation is in place?
The City failed to mitigate twice in the last 6 years. Once in 2015 due to a combination of dry weather and communication errors and for 6 weeks in 2019 due to a mechanical error. The 2015 failure was before the City added a large number of additional housing units which draw additional water from the River. If we have another weather year like 2015 now – the City’s own plan says that its likely we will not have sufficient water to mitigate the River.
More to Come –
We will share our filings and member’s letter outlining harms spanning impacts to wells, fishing, kayaking, and other harms. In addition to pursuing some of the options mentioned above, we will continue to fund efforts to protect the River.
Thanks to all who have donated time and money as well as those of you who shared how this WSP harms you personally.
Hang in there folks. We will keep you posted.
The Friends of The Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River
PLEASE Help Us Fight A SECOND Motion to Dismiss Made by The City of North Bend and DOH*
After prevailing against The City’s first motion to dismiss, we are now faced with a second. Perhaps those on the other side of this case do not want to see FRIENDS (supported by many citizens of North Bend) get our Day in Court?
Our Appeal goes to the heart of the matter. There simply is not enough water available to protect the River and allow for more growth – especially given climate change – which the City’s plan fails to consider.
Our appeal requests the Court to:
“Order a moratorium on further development in the City under it’s prior water system plan until a new water system plan that is based on adequate and guaranteed mitigation of impacts to the Snoqualmie River is submitted to and approved by the Department.”
Please help us get our Day in Court. If you are able (and only if you are able) please donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/take-the-snoqualmie-river-challenge today. We expect the judge will decide on this second motion before the end of October.
All donations will go toward defending against this motions and our appeal. Friends President, Board and Members all contribute as volunteers and do not receive any reimbursement.
AND, you may want to consider new IRS expanded tax benefits related to charitable donations for 2021 at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/expanded-tax-benefits-help-individuals-and-businesses-give-to-charity-during-2021-deductions-up-to-600-available-for-cash-donations-by-non-itemizers to see if you qualify for a deduction. As always, ask your tax professional if you have any questions. Additional information can be found at: 1. Fidelity Charitable: https://www.fidelitycharitable.org/articles/what-the-cares-act-means-for-charitable-giving.html : 2. MSN NEWS: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/2-charitable-tax-breaks-have-been-extended-for-2021/ar-BB1csaV8
The Friends of The Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River (a 501c3 Charitable Organization)
Note: IF we do not prevail against this motion, monies will be targeted toward fighting specific projects that will harm the River and our water supply. ALSO, FRIENDS has already spent most of the funds raised on GoFundMe on legal expenses to get us to this point.
*DOH – Washington State Department of Health
Snoqualmie River Temperature Project Training
Snoqualmie Community Action Network (SCAN)
WHAT: Water Temperature Testing Overview & Training
WHERE: Via ZOOM – details to come
WHEN: 10:00AM to 12:00 NOON –
Saturday, September 11th
GOAL: To monitor and build awareness of how land use affects water temperatures, and in turn how water temperature affects salmon and whales (Chinook Salmon are dependent on cool Rivers and represent 80+% of the diet of our local Orca)
· Training will take approx. 1 hour via ZOOM. We will also offer a 1 hour “in person” live demonstration, the timing TBD based on upon the weather and the COVID-19 situation at the time. We may hold the live demonstration directly after the ZOOM meeting. We will keep you posted via email.
· Two-person teams will provide monthly River Temperature readings between October 2021 and Sept 2022, tentatively set for 10:00 AM, the 2nd Saturday of every month. If you are unable to make a certain date, we will provide you a list of interested back-up volunteers who can take over in your absence. Each assessment will require picking up the thermometers and taking them to your destination. Once there, the actual testing should take about 5 to 10 minutes. We will work in teams – so let us know if you have a partner OR if you would like us to assign you one.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING:
Please sign up on or before September 8th by sending us your name and email address (phone optional) to the following emails dependent upon where you live:
· For North Bend Area Residents:
Please submit your information to firstname.lastname@example.org
· For Snoqualmie Area Residents:
Please submit your information to
on or before September 8th and we will send you further details.
The following article (Taking the temperature of salmon) will provide some context for our training:
If you have time, please take a look.
UPDATE from The Friends of The Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River
Our Snowpack and Legal Fund Have Taken Unexpected Hits
Recently, both our Snowpack and Legal Fund have been unexpectedly diminished. The heatwave reduced our Snowpack (see update below) in the same way the City’s FAILED Motion to Dismiss our legal case diminished our legal fund.
Meanwhile, the City Continues to Take On Additional Risk
As recently reported in the Snoqualmie Valley Record (https://www.valleyrecord.com/news/north-bend-seeks-dismissal-of-lawsuit-over-citys-water-system/ ), our lawsuit to reverse the Department of Health’s approval of City’s Water System Plan is progressing. We have argued and continue to argue the City currently has an inadequate supply of required mitigation water if there is a dry year. In fact, that is exactly what the City’s own Water System Plan states! Yet the City continues to develop and expand their water system down North Bend Way to the former Mule Pasture.
Our attorney advises us that the developers who have commenced development take a risk if the Department of Health’s approval of the Water System Plan is reversed because of the City’s lack of a reliable water supply. If our lawsuit is successful, the City will not have the authority to serve the new developments and the developers may lose the investments they are making unless and until the City finds a legal and reliable source of water.
If the expansion of the City’s water system continues, we are concerned that our community, gardens, wildlife, and river will suffer – especially during late summer and early fall when River water levels are low and demand for water is high.
We Need Your Help
The City of North Bend’s frivolous Motion to Dismiss cost approximately $10,000 in additional legal fees. The City wrongly claimed our petition was improperly served because our attorney’s professional server did not put the petition directly in the Mayor’s hands (City Hall was closed due to Covid). The Judge ruled in our favor, but we had to develop a thorough defense and our attorneys had to show up in court (via ZOOM).
We have received some financial help from regional environmental foundations for our case, but we still require a significant amount of grassroots support from the community to fund our case in the Superior Court of King County. Please help with replenishing our legal funds and boosting our capabilities as our case progresses. All funds will go to legal and expert testimony in support of the case.
For those of you wanting and able to contribute financially, please donate through our GoFundMe site at: https://www.gofundme.com/Friends-of-The-Snoqualmie-Valley-Trail-and-River.
We appreciate ALL donations! Big or Small!
The Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River
Facebook: The Friends of The Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River
According to the USDA, the government agency responsible for monitoring the Snowpack, "The closest measurement site (SNOTEL) that we have for the Snoqualmie would be the Olallie Meadows site at 4000’ which was still holding above normal snowpack until this heat wave hit 7 days ago there was still 25” of snow on the ground but completely melted out yesterday. Tinkham Creek SNOTEL at 3000’ over in the Cedar would be another indicator however it melted out on June 16th.” They go on to comment: "There would still be snow in the high country and north facing slopes however the land mass starts diminishing as you gain elevation. Also we had a Steller snow season this year so ground water recharge should be good and that what would feed the river when the snow is gone. "
That being said, they also commented that they have no way to monitor the high country to know when it all the snow is gone. I've asked about their ability to assess the amount of snowmelt that likely entered the groundwater and will update this post if I hear anything. A few of our more technical members are looking at historical and other data to try to put this information in context. We will let you know what they come up with. For those of you with a technical bent, you can follow the climate at USDA stations year-round on the WA Snow Survey Website. at: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/wa/snow/ Under the “Current Water Year” tab use the “Interactive Map”.
Judge tosses out North Bend’s request to dismiss city water lawsuit.
... The lawsuit seeking to stop the plan from being implemented will proceed.
By Aaron Kunkler - The Snoqualmie Valley Record
Monday, June 14, 2021 5:04pmNEWS
A judge has tossed out a request by North Bend to dismiss an appeal lawsuit filed against the city over its water system plan. In April, Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River filed an appeal of the city’s water system plan, which was approved earlier in the year by the city, King County and the Washington state Department of Health.
The lawsuit is asking a King County Superior Court judge to grant an injunction stopping the plan from being enacted, requiring an environmental review and placing a moratorium on development in the city until their concerns are addressed. Court documents show that North Bend has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that papers weren’t properly served. But on June 14, King County Superior Court Judge Patrick Oishi tossed out North Bend’s request for a dismissal. Further, Oishi ordered the city to hand over documents outlining its administrative record when it determined that the North Bend water system plan did not need a full environmental review, according to court documents obtained by The Snoqualmie Valley Record. It marks a victory for Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River, and means the case will move forward.
Four copies of the original lawsuit were delivered to the city, according to court documents filed by Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River: the original petition that was delivered by hand to North Bend City Administrator David Miller, two revised copies that were delivered to two separate employees by hand, and a third that was sent by first-class mail. The city is arguing that according to Washington state law, the papers were never properly served, and the lawsuit should be dismissed. Under state law, lawsuits must be delivered to the mayor, city manager, people designated by either of those officers, or the city clerk. The city argues that because Miller is a city administrator, not a city manager, he was not authorized to receive the paperwork. It argues that city managers are a role held in strong city council cities, where a city manager is appointed by the council. North Bend operates under a council-mayor system, where the city administrator reports to the mayor, who is the head executive. In a signed response from the professional server who delivered the first copy to Miller, the server states that Miller indicated he was authorized to accept the paperwork. Miller denies saying this in his response. Since North Bend’s city hall is closed to the public, Miller met him at the door.
In response to the city’s claims, Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River have filed their own response, claiming that their case is an appeal, and therefore mailing is a valid way to serve the city. Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River, headed by longtime water activist Jean Buckner, maintains that the city should have a second source for backup water, as required by its well permit. When the city’s large Centennial Well came online in 2009, it was required to have two sources of water mitigation that could be used to put water into the Snoqualmie River as needed during hot, dry summers. The city’s well draws from aquifers which feed the river. Since then, there have been negotiations between the city and neighboring Sallal Water Association to seal this deal, but to date, no agreement has been reached. North Bend’s water system plan was approved, but only for five years instead of the usual 10 years. The shortened time frame is intended to give state regulators more leverage. If North Bend hasn’t made progress within the five years in securing a backup water source, the city will need to address it in another water system plan. Buckner said the Friends of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River is prepared to continue the appeal. They were recently approved for a grant from Puget Soundkeeper Alliance to fund legal costs. The details of the grant haven’t been made public, but Buckner said it was a significant amount of money, though likely not all that would be needed. The city of North Bend declined to comment for this story, citing the ongoing lawsuit.
Our attorneys had to submit a response to the City's charges (13 pages) and 3 of them showed up in court to respond to this frivolous motion to dismiss. We've not seen the bill yet, but it will be substantial. Please consider donating if you can.
ALSO, OUR ATTORNEY SAYS THAT PROCEEDING WITH ANY DEVELOPMENT DEPENDENT ON THE WATER SYSTEM PLAN CARRIES A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK. PERHAPS THE CITY HASN'T THOUGHT THE POSITION THEY WOULD BE IN IN THE EVENT WE WIN THIS CASE. AND WE CAN WIN THIS CASE.
Best, The Friends of The Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/302913583506885/Website: http://fosvtr.org/ GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/Friends-of-The-Snoqualmie-Valley-Trail-and-River
GREAT NEWS FROM THE FRIENDS OF THE SNOQUALMIE VALLEY TRAIL AND RIVER
FRIENDS’ WAS JUST AWARDED A SUBSTANTIAL GRANT!
THESE FUNDS WILL BE USED TO HELP SUPPORT THE PETITION OUR ATTORNEYS FILED IN KING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT TO REPEAL NORTH BEND’S WATER SYSTEM PLAN.
What does that mean to you?
Finally, concerns for the health of the Snoqualmie River and North Bend’s water supply will be reviewed by an unbiased Court. We’ve asked the Court to impose a moratorium on further development in the City of North Bend until a new Water System Plan that is based on adequate and guaranteed mitigation of the Snoqualmie River is submitted and approved by the Department of Health (DOH).
Our new grant will cover much, but not all, of our anticipated legal expenses. We will also need to secure expert witnesses to help our preeminent water rights attorney present our best case. In addition, the City has and likely will continue to file motions that require additional legal expenditures.
PLEASE DONATE WHAT YOU CAN NOW at https://www.gofundme.com/Friends-of-The-Snoqualmie-Valley-Trail-and-River.
PLEASE HELP US WITH THIS FIGHT. WE WILL ONLY GET ONE SHOT TO GET THIS RIGHT!
Our grant was awarded by Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, a grantmaking fund created by the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and administered by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, to fight this case.
We will keep you updated as the case progresses.
The Friends of The Snoqualmie Valley Trail and River
THANKS TO EVERYONE !!! THIS CHALLENGE GRANT IS OVER. THANKS FOR STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE!!!!
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU, our appeal of Department of Health's approval of North Bend's Water System Plan has been filed. You can download a full copy of it below. Following is a brief summary of what we are asking for:
REQUEST FOR RELIEF
Friends respectfully requests that this Court:
a. Impose an immediate stay on the City’s implementation of the WSP pending the Court’s decision.
b. Vacate and set aside the Department’s decision approving the WSP.
c. Vacate and set aside the DNS.
d. Order a moratorium on further development in the City under its prior water system plan until a new water system plan that is based on adequate and guaranteed mitigation of impacts to the Snoqualmie River is submitted to and approved by the Department. DATED this 5th day of April, 2021.
WE'VE REACHED OUR GOAL!!!! Thanks to everyone who volunteered and/or contributed ! The appeal will be deliver