EVERSON, Wash. – As farmers come together and voice their continuing commitment to helping solve water management issues and recovering endangered salmon populations in the northwest corner of Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee and his administration continue to drag their feet on supporting immediate solutions in the troubled Nooksack River Basin, even in the face of worsening drought.
“Critically endangered salmon populations need help urgently, and collaborative solutions exist that could help fish and local farming in Whatcom County in a matter of a few years,” said Dillon Honcoop, Save Family Farming Communications Director.
“But even as we watch the devastating effects of climate change bear down on our region more quickly than ever, Governor Inslee and the Washington State Department of Ecology continue to support launching an antiquated legal process that would delay meaningful action on these crucial issues for multiple decades,” Honcoop said.
In a July 14 press conference on his emergency drought declaration, Inslee said the state “can’t push snooze anymore” on addressing climate change and the challenges it presents.
Yet the water rights adjudication lawsuit that Inslee and his administration want for the Nooksack River Basin would do just that.
The ensuing court battle Inslee supports won’t add any new water to the basin’s streams, and would stall–for likely 30 years or more–innovative projects that could quickly aid both fish and local food production in just a few years’ time.
“Governor Inslee and his administration need to stop ‘pushing snooze’ on collaborative salmon recovery work in the Nooksack basin, and fully support bringing the Whatcom community together around immediate solutions that benefit salmon, farming and the families that produce local food, both from the land and the water,” said Honcoop.