The arrogance of the federal government never ceases to amaze. The Willapa Bay refuge manager, after having his ill-advised dike removal project defunded, says simply, “We will find alternative funding.” This is despite a unanimous vote by the Salmon Recovery Funding board, a unanimous vote by Water Resources Board, opposition from overwhelming majority of people in attendance at the public forum in Ilwaco and opposition from the local Audubon Society.

If this is the case, then why involve the public at all? What may have gone wrong with the discovery process and public engagement is a question asked in the June 1 article. Nothing went wrong with the process. Mr. Stenvall just didn’t get the answer he wanted so the “process is to blame.” No, it’s not the process. We don’t want the dikes removed. And we don’t want to be told that the Army Corps has strict standards that aren’t being met for the dikes, and then find out that it’s not true.

Another part of the process is the public comments — 211 of them. Why not make them public? It’s also reasonable to expect Fish and Wildlife Regional Director Thorson to be available for comment. What, she’s too busy? When I contact Rep. Herrera-Beutler, she’s not too busy.

Quoted in the article, Fred Cook states, “We only staved off the process.” Absolutely accurate. Stenvall and staff will be continuing their efforts daily. There is very strong opposition to the dike removal and support for alternative 1. If we don’t continue to monitor this project and make our opposition known at every opportunity, you will see excavators tearing out those dikes. 

Jim Deane 


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