Dear Jenny Baker,
We can’t imagine that The Nature Conservancy would go along with a project which features restoration actions that would cause an increase in our exposure to flood risk that cannot be fully mitigated for catastrophic events. If you’ve had a chance to review the SRC document, you’ve noticed the idea of cutting a channel from the Skagit into Barnaby Slough to divert some of the river’s flow into and through the slough. It’s obvious to me that such an action creates risk exposure that is simply impossible to fully mitigate, and for that reason we oppose such an action and will do whatever it takes to keep it from happening.
I’m particularly concerned at the moment because the study document fails to address catastrophic possibilities, which I’ve mentioned in the letter to Lisa Janicki. Thus, the document comes across more as a weighty marketing piece than a legitimate assessment or forecast of the future. This is the kind of thing that happens when people are narrowly aimed at specific goals. It’s the same psychological dynamic we see the realm of publicly traded corporations when leaders serve profitability and shareholder value without regard for social values and consequences. I’m hopeful that you and other leaders with The Nature Conservancy will have a far more balanced sensibility about a project like this and make sure that you don’t support anything that creates flood risk exposure that cannot be fully mitigated.
Hopefully, there’s a way to achieve the impressive habitat restoration aims of the SRC without creating unacceptable flood risk for us or compromising our use and enjoyment of our properties.