WASHINGTON LAWMAKERS ALSO HEAR DRAWDOWN OPPONENTS LOWRY AVOIDS THEM
Tuesday, March 8, 1994
Clarkston Chamber of Commerce delegates flooded the Capitol with anti-drawdown information
Monday, but failed to flush out the big fish, Gov. Mike Lowry.
A 10-member delegation from the Clarkston chamber met with lawmakers and policy analysts Monday to voice their opposition to a Snake River drawdown. The delegates and area legislators delivered anti-drawdown petitions with more than 23,000 signatures to the governor's office, but the governor was unable to receive the petitions himself.
Jordan Dey from the governor's communication office said Lowry was working on civil service reform and meeting with key legislators to discuss pending bills.
At a morning meeting, Lowry's natural resources policy advisers were cool to anti-
''There has to be a certain amount of shared
agony,'' said Jack de Young, the governor's natural resource policy aide. ''Dams are major fish killers. It's a statistical fact.''
Lowry's representatives stressed, however, that the governor will consider the economic impact of any drawdown. Although the governor does not have direct input into drawdown decisions, Lowry and Idaho Gov. Cecil D. Andrus will appoint half of the eight-member Northwest Power Planning Council. The council will make the final decisions on drawdowns.
Lowry's representatives about the scientific validity of a possible Snake River drawdown and inferred that salmon fishing interests were not doing enough.
''We see our lives floating away for a species you can buy in a can at the supermarket,'' said Lance Voss, a member of the Clarkston Chamber of Commerce.
Although the trip was scheduled for what is arguably one of the most frenzied days of the year for state lawmakers, five of the six legislators from the 9th an 16th Districts were able to meet with the delegates.
''If these people drive six hours to see us, of course I can find a few minutes to meet with them,'' said Rep. Dave Mastin, D-Walla Walla.
Mastin co-sponsored a memorial last year asking Congress to base any drawdown decisions on scientific evidence.
''This is not good science. There are four dams above us and three dams below us on the Snake,'' said, Sen. Valoria Loveland, D-Pasco. ''A drawdown at the Lower Granite Dam only flushes smolts from one pool to the next.''
Loveland said all eight dams on the Snake should have to take part in a drawdown for a scientifically valid test. Loveland said she prefers an all-encompassing drawdown because it would spread the economic effect to other areas of the state, increasing drawdown opposition.
The trip to Olympia is the crescendo to a monthlong public opinion campaign by the Clarkston and Lewiston chambers of commerce. On Monday, the campaign placed a $2,700 full page anti-drawdown add in the Olympia newspaper, the Olympian.
Sally Ledgerwood, executive director of the Lewis-Clark Economic Development Association, was satisfied with the results of the anti-drawdown campaign.
''If even a few of the legislators sit down and read our information, then we will have accomplished our goal.''