U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley visited Warm Springs yesterday to meet with Tribal Council and to hold his annual Town Hall Meeting for Jefferson County. One of the issues he brought up while meeting with the Council was the stall of efforts to make good more in-lieu sites for Tribal Fishing along the Columbia River. Tribal Council updated the Senator on the Tribes’ economic development efforts, infrastructure and facility needs, and multiple issues in Warm Springs related to Methamphetamine use. The public meeting, the 343rd town hall he’s done since taking office, was held at the Warm Springs K-8 Academy with about 60 people participating. You can hear an interview with Sen. Merkley on KWSO’s Warm Springs Program next week.
Lower Snake River dams could be replaced by a variety of renewable energy resources, according to a new study by the NW Energy Coalition. The advocacy group says this means dam removal doesn’t have to be a choice between salmon and renewable energy. Many hydropower supporters say removing the four Lower Snake River dams could mean more of the Northwest’s power generation would have to come from fossil fuel sources, like natural gas. That’s not what the coalition’s study found. Coalition spokesman Sean O’Leary said it’s important to be able to take energy generation questions off the table when considering how to protect endangered and threatened Snake River salmon runs. The study found the dams could be replaced by renewable energy sources, including solar and wind energy, energy efficiency, increased battery storage and more demand-response systems.
The Confluence Project—spanning 438 miles and over 12 years of work to be the largest public art project in the nation—is now making headway on their sixth and final project site, Celilo Park. A Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) grant application is still in draft and has not been finalized, but Confluence Project executive director Colin Fogarty anticipates receiving approximately $3.5 million to fund facilities, a renovated parking lot and widening the entrance at Celilo Park. The Celilo Park Confluence artwork will consist of: An interpretive pavilion with information about Celilo Falls and its history; a sculpture of the Columbia River; and the “Celilo Arc,” a 500-foot elevated walkway inspired by the indigenous fishing platforms that once crowned Celilo Falls. The artwork was designed by artist and architect Maya Lin, who is most known for designing the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.