A contingent of concerned citizens including farmers, tribal leaders, Skagit County government leaders and others interested in preserving agricultural land, protecting our communities from flooding, and providing salmon with access to the 37% of the Skagit that exists above the dams, descended on the Seattle City Council chambers this morning, along with King5 News, to forcefully share their views about the need for the City of Seattle to address our concerns as it pursues dam relicensing. Half a dozen citizens called in to contribute, including our neighbors Lisa Fenley and Melissa K. Norris who did great jobs sharing their perspectives during the public comment period.

Here is a link to the Seattle TV recording of the meeting of the “Economic Development, Technology and City Light” Committee. The Seattle City Light department has been so evasive and non-inclusive that these leaders thought it best to show up unannounced. Public comment begins around 6:45 and continues to about 29:30 on this video.

Public Comments to Seattle City Council Regarding FERC Relicensing

We took the opportunity to emphasize our conviction that the City of Seattle has an ethical environmental obligation to build fish passage at its dams. Here is what we said:

“We strongly support and appreciate the leadership of the Skagit County Board of Commissioners in asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to require you to mitigate for your dam operations at your dam sites. You should be investing in fish passage to enable salmon to access the 37% of the Skagit that lies above your dams. 

You have an environmental ethical obligation to do this, and I imagine the citizens of Seattle generally share this feeling. Your obligations extend beyond the profits you generate and the utility rates you provide big corporate entities like Amazon who should share our desire for you to do the right thing for salmon in the Skagit River. 

We are one large community when it comes to protecting our environment and vital features of it like salmon, and we should not let one-sided considerations like electric utility profit margins get in the way of caring for salmon. 

This appears to be what you have been trying to do. Why do you have to be forced by the federal government to do the right thing? 

City of Seattle: do the right thing. Build fish passage. Thank you.”

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