May 19

BOCC Public Hearing June 3rd at 6 pm

The Clark County Board of Commissioners will make a final decision re: Surface Mining Overlay.

It is critical that we mobilize as many people as possible to attend this hearing, as large turnouts have made an important difference with the decisions made thus far. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to join us once again!

While waiting for the BOCC to set a date for their hearing, CALM put together a document to declare our position in regards to the Surface Mining Overlay and to help clarify the needs of citizens affected by mining in Clark County. To read this memorandum click here.

We look forward to seeing you. The Board of County Commissioners will have Surface Mining Overlay as a topic at their Hearing to be held on Tuesday, June 3 at 6:00 p.m. at the Public Service Center at 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver, WA, 6th Floor.

The Board of County Commissioners will have Surface Mining Overlay as a topic at their Hearing to be held on Tuesday, June 3 at 6:00 p.m. at the Public Service Center at 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver, WA, 6th Floor.

The link to the Board’s calendar is here.

Information on the history of the project, documents and maps, and a link to the Planning Commission’s recommendations are all available at the link here.

The former Project Manager for this project has retired and questions can be directed to Oliver Orjiako, Director of Community Planning.

Comments for the record of the BOCC Hearing can be mailed to the BOCC office, Attn: Clerk of the Board, Rebecca Tilton, P.O. Box 9810, Vancouver WA 98666, or to submit comments electronically to the BOCC, you can use this link.

The link to the Board’s grid is here.

Information for the hearing is not yet uploaded and any new information will be available the Thursday before the Hearing (May 29).

Apr 15

Joint Public Meeting April 17th: Surface Mining Overlay

The Clark County Board of Commissioners and the Clark County Planning Commission will hold a joint public meeting:

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

Public Service Center Building, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA

The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss the proposed designation of Surface Mining Overlay (SMO) as recommended by the Clark County Planning Commission, and for the Board and the Planning Commission to have a conversation about the future of Mineral Resource Lands (MRL) in Clark County.

Although there will be no public testimony taken from the public, we are encouraging everyone to attend to show our continued investment in our desired outcome. We will be handing out CALM stickers at the door so you can show the Commissioners that we are all still watching and interested!

Please come and show your continued support!

Citizens’ Alliance for Livingston Mountain


BOCC Work session with the Planning Commission on Surface Mining Overlay – Thursday 4/17 at 6:30 p.m.

The Clark County Board of Commissioners is having a work session with the Planning Commission to discuss the Surface Mining Overlay recommendations on:

This is a work session for discussion and Q&A between the Board and the Planning Commission. No testimony will be taken at this meeting.

Information that will be reviewed at the work session on 4/17 can be found on the Planning Commission webpage at:

All updates on meetings and materials for the Surface Mining Overlay public events will continue to be posted at:

Mar 13

East Fork to Become Steelhead Sanctuary

Three tributaries of Columbia River designated wild steelhead gene banks

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today designated three tributaries of the lower Columbia River as “wild steelhead gene banks,” where it will no longer release steelhead raised in fish hatcheries.

Starting this year, WDFW will no longer plant hatchery steelhead in the East Fork Lewis River or the North Fork Toutle/Green River. The Wind River, which has not been stocked with steelhead since 1997, will also be off-limits to any future releases.

As part of that plan, WDFW will redirect more than 50,000 hatchery smolts previously slated for the East Fork Lewis River into the Washougal River and Salmon Creek, and is working to place another 25,000 smolts previously earmarked for the North Fork Toutle/Green River.

Director Phil Anderson said those actions are part of a statewide effort to help conserve and restore wild steelhead, particularly those listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). All three watersheds designated as gene banks today support wild steelhead listed as threatened since 1998.

“We are building a future where wild steelhead – our state fish – can be enjoyed as part of the natural heritage of our state,” Anderson said. “We will continue to support fisheries with hatchery production in selected areas of southwest Washington, while ensuring that wild fish can be given the best opportunity possible to rebuild and flourish in the future.”

Studies have shown that hatchery fish can compete with wild steelhead for spawning partners, and that interbreeding can reduce survival rates for wild steelhead, Anderson said.

WDFW first identified wild steelhead gene banks as a recovery strategy in the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan, adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2008. The department designated the Sol Duc River on the Olympic Peninsula as the state’s first official wild steelhead gene bank in 2012.

Cindy LeFleur, WDFW regional fish manager, said the department’s selection of the three gene banks in the lower Columbia River Basin was based on criteria outlined in the statewide plan and public input received over the past two years. Three local advisory groups appointed by WDFW issued recommendations for specific areas, drawing hundreds of public comments – pro and con – at public meetings and in messages to the department.

“A key requirement for wild steelhead gene banks is that they have a self-sustaining wild steelhead population,” LeFleur said. “The goal is to protect those primary populations and allow them to propagate with minimal interference from hatchery fish.”

To support that effort, WDFW plans to open fishing seasons in the new wild steelhead zones targeting hatchery fish, which will continue to return to those rivers for at least two more years, LeFleur said. Catch-and-release fishing for wild steelhead may also be allowed in later years.

Meanwhile, WDFW will continue to support fishing opportunities in other local rivers, LeFleur said. Those rivers include the mainstem Toutle, South Fork Toutle, Cowlitz, Kalama, Salmon, Washougal, and mainstem and North Fork Lewis rivers.

Jim Scott, assistant director of WDFW’s Fish Program, said the department will forward its final decisions on the gene banks to NOAA-Fisheries, the federal agency that oversees salmon and steelhead recovery in southwest Washington.

“NOAA-Fisheries has strongly supported our efforts to create these new wild steelhead zones, and we’ve communicated frequently throughout the process,” he said.

Scott noted that WDFW plans to create more wild steelhead gene banks throughout the state in the years ahead.

“During the next six months, we will be focusing on establishing wild steelhead gene banks for Puget Sound and lower Columbia tributaries below the Cowlitz River,” Scott said. “As with the plan announced today, our goal will be to continue to make those fish available for area fisheries where doing so is consistent with our steelhead conservation goals.”

Mar 13

“FISHWAY” Fish Passage System

“FISHWAY” Fish Passage System


Many small rivers and tributaries are or have become blocked to upstream fish passage due to either natural barriers or those caused by people activities. Bad culverts, headcut-washouts, old debris jams or waterfalls are usually the cause.

View of Fishway Unit At Streamside
FISHWAY Fish Passage System

Now, a relatively simple and effective, as well as economical technology has been developed. The system “Fishway” is basically a combination of pipes and water powered gates developed and patented by Norm Neufeld. It is similar to the boat locks that move ships over river barriers.

View a video clip here

It is powered by the flow of water and self-operating gates that allow fish to move up a pipe and over the barrier. The system can be installed in the stream or at stream-side.

One Of Several Test Fish That Swam Thru Unit
FISHWAY Fish Passage System

Tests show that the system can move fish over barriers of 4 ft. or more. Research has previously shown that fish can and will swim relatively long distances thru a pipe if they sense a current in the pipe. A number of government entities (US Army COE, Washington and Lee University, City of Lexington VA. and Inland Fisheries) have approved the installation of this system and are further cooperatively testing it.

View of Operating Test Unit on Ground/Streamside Setup
FISHWAY Fish Passage System

The cost of building and installing step-pools or concrete fish ladders over barriers 10 ft. high or more can be quite expensive. This technology offers an alternative to salmon and steelhead passage restoration and at a lower cost.

View a video clip here

Those interested in finding out more about this fish support technology can contact:

Norm Neufeld

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