Washington Water Watch 
June 2016

In This Issue
Celebrate Waters a Success!
Summer Membership Special
Interview with Professor William H. Rodgers
Remembering Virgil Seymour
Update on OWL v. KGH Hearing
Welcome New Board Member Steve Robinson
Keep Our Rivers Flowing!
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Dear Members of CELP,

CELP held its annual fundraising event, "Celebrate Water" a few weeks ago, and it was a great success.  Congratulations to UW Law Professor William H. Rodgers for receiving the Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero Award, and to Rep. Derek Stanford for receiving CELP's first ever Washington Water Policy Award! I'd also like to thank our sponsors, board, volunteers, and everyone who attended and helped us reach our goal! CELP would also like to thank Steve Mashuda from Earthjustice for being our speaker at the pre-reception CLE workshop on Dams and Salmon in the Columbia Basin.
An example of a high barrier culvert, which does not accommodate fish passage
In other big news, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an important ruling on the Culvert Case, part of the long-running United States v. Washington litigation regarding fishing rights. The court affirmed a lower court's order issuing an injunction directing the State of Washington to repair hundreds of culverts, which allow streams to flow underneath roads, but prevent salmon from reaching habitat upstream of the culverts. The Court held that fish-blocking culverts have violated, and continued to violate, the Stevens Treaties, which guarantee Northwest Tribes the right to harvest fish.  The Ninth Circuit agreed with the lower court that the right to harvest fish must include protection for fish habitat. This is a big win for the tribes and anyone who cares about river flows and salmon restoration. Read the full decision here.
Restoring stream flows for fish is a high priority for CELP, and we applaud both this ruling and the ruling on the Columbia River Salmon Biological Opinion. CELP continues this work through outreach, advocacy, and litigation, but we can't do it without the steady support of our loyal donors.
In this issue we have a recap of "Celebrate Water", an i nterview with Professor William H. Rodgers, this year's Ralph Johnson Water Hero awardee, an update on the OWL V KGH case, a remembrance of Virgil Seymour, an introduction to our new board member Steve Robinson, and more.

Best water wishes,                         

Trish Rolfe
Executive Director

P.S. CELP works to protect Washington's water resources, but we can't do it without the support of our members. If you haven't renewed your membership to CELP in 2016, you can do so  today by donating on our secure website,  www.celp.org . All donations to CELP are tax deductible. 

Thank you for Attending Celebrate Water!

Thank you to everyone who attended  Celebrate Water 2016 - it was a huge success!
Thanks to our supporters and sponsors, we raised over $15,000 to help us continue to protect Washington's rivers and streams. 

2016 Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero Award Winner Professor William H. Rodgers (on left) with previous award winners Mickey Gendler, Rachael P. Osborn, and Ann Aagaard

From left to right - CELP Government Affairs Specialist Bruce Wishart, recipient of the 2016 Water Policy Award Rep. Derek Stanford, CELP Board Chair Daryl Williams, and CELP Executive Director Trish Rolfe

To see the complete photo album from the event, visit our Facebook page here.

Give $250 to CELP and receive a free book!

Thanks to a generous donation from Professor William H. Rodgers, donors who give $250 or more to CELP during the months of July and August will receive a free copy of The Si'lailo Way - Indians, Salmon and Law on the Columbia River

Donations from individuals  are a huge part CELP's overall yearly fundraising, and support our general operations and programs. As we start seeing the effects of climate change on our state's rivers and streams, we have more work than ever to do to ensure the health and sustainability of our waterways - please consider a gift of $250 or more to CELP this summer to help us protect Washington's waters in 2016 and beyond!
Professor Rodgers with his daughter, Andrea Rodgers

Professor William H. Rodgers, Jr.

The Center for Environmental Law & Policy honored Professor Rodgers with the  2016 Ralph W. Johnson Award, recognizing and celebrating a lifetime of achievement in protecting the environment and the public's waters.  Johnson and Rodgers were colleagues and friends. This interview was completed in advance of CELP's Celebrate Water! event held on June 8, 2016 at Ivar's Salmon House in Seattle, and as part of CELP's  Voices for Water project.

Rachael Paschal Osborn: You love the law and you love to teach. Tell us about your childhood and especially what influenced you to become interested in environmental and Indian law.
Professor Rodgers : When I was 10 or 11 my dad got a job in Scarsdale, New York. Those summers I lived at our 19-acre family farm in Massachusetts. There were swamps and woods without end. Then came Route 24 - our farm was taken by Route 24. To this day I can hear the anger in my mother's voice as she talked about the "John J. Volpe Construction Company."
Rachael: That is very ironic.  John Volpe was the named defendant in Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpethe first modern administrative law case.
Professor Rodgers : Yes, Volpe was the builder who later became the Secretary of Transportation in the Nixon Administration.
During those summers I raised ducks and chickens. I remember how they imprinted on me. Konrad Lorenz would get the Nobel Prize for what every kid knew: if you were around when they hatched, those chicks would latch onto you. Of the many hens, I especially remember Peewee. She was so very gentle. When spring came I used to go the 20 miles from Randolph to Brockton, Massachusetts, to buy the chicks. I remember buying some seventy day-old chicks. We had no running water. No electricity. You had to heat the water for 70 baby chicks - that's a lot of hot water. Peewee was nominated to be the mother of the chicks. Peewee was a hen version of nervous breakdown - she stayed with them heroically without a single mortality.
Read the full interview here.

Remembering Virgil Seymour - Sinixt leader
(1958 - 2016)
by John Osborn MD

"We may have got pushed out of Canada.  We may have got pushed out of Kelly Hill.  We may have got pushed out of lower Inchelium. But we're still by the River.  We still stay by the River. Inchelium is right next to the River."

"Learning.  Connecting.  Understanding.  Education.  Outreach -- are going to be the keys to connecting us back to the places and our people's bones." 

"People ask, 'What do you want?'  I would like to be able to take care of our sacred places, our ancestors' bones, and to have consultation for the resources that come out of there."

Virgil Seymour, words from " One River, Ethics Matter " Gonzaga University, May 2014) 
On the summer solstice in Inchelium, 500 people from both sides of the international border gathered to say goodbye to Virgil Seymour.  Before leukemia took Virgil, in his short time as Arrow Lakes Facilitator, he did what he set out to do: "Learning.  Connecting.  Understanding.  Education.  Outreach." 
Virgil was a Sinixt member of the Colville Confederated Tribes.   While serving three, two-year terms as a tribal councilman for the district of Inchelium he was chairman of the Natural Resources Committee.  As an elected official Virgil focused on all issues related to the Columbia River, including the Columbia River Treaty, legacy pollution cleanup of the Columbia River and the litigation against mining giant, Teck Cominco.  Virgil was a passionate advocate for Sinixt issues and their fate in Canada.
As the Arrow Lakes Facilitator, Virgil worked with tribes, First Nations, and nonindigenous people who all shared an interest in the future of the Columbia River.   He was a "
true diplomat" for the Sinixt People and, more broadly, for the Columbia River and salmon.
In March 2015, Virgil and I traveled together for two days to Kelowna B.C. to meet with Anglican Archbishop John Privett and Roman Catholic Bishop John Corriveau about a "One River, Ethics Matter" conference in British Columbia.  During those two days, Virgil shared the stories of his boyhood on the Reservation, teenage border crossings, Kelly Hill, and history of the Sinixt Nation.  
Even from Virgil's bed at Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, struggling with induction  chemotherapy and fevers, he was still focused on his work as Arrow Lakes Facilitator. At one point Virgil handed his phone to connect me with people in Revelstoke.  
From his hospital bed, Virgil talked repeatedly about the dugout canoes being launched that would converge at Kettle Falls, calling attention to the need to restore salmon.  Virgil had so hoped to be a paddler in the Sinixt canoe, and just beamed when he talked about the canoes. While Virgil was able to return home to Inchelium "right next to the River," he did not live to see the historic tribal gathering just upstream at Kettle Falls.  Four days after his death, the Sinixt canoe -- with Virgil's handprint carved into it - converged with canoes from the five tribes of the Upper Columbia to
celebrate hope of salmon's return .  On that day, tribal leaders noted that Virgil, too, was there.

Read the full article here.
Update on OWL v. KGH Hearing 

by Dan Von Seggern

 CELP and the  Okanogan Wilderness League , represented by Janette Brimmer and Matt Baca of Earthjustice, succeeded in having a PCHB decision regarding "out-of-kind mitigation" vacated so that it cannot serve as a precedent in future water permit decisions. This long-running case started in 2012 when Ecology issued a water right allowing water to be taken from the Columbia River, even though it would impair the instream flow set by rule .   

Columbia River - photo by US Dept. of Ecology
Mitigation for the water taken out-of-stream was to be provided through general "habitat improvements" at other sites. This type of "out-of-kind" mitigation is problematic because no matter how good the habitat improvements are, the amount of water in the river is reduced, which harms fish and instream values (the Washington Supreme Court's recent Foster v. Yelm decision recognized this, finding in part that other ecological improvements could not compensate for impairment of streamflows). In part of its response to our challenge, the PCHB ruled that Ecology had the authority to use out-of-kind mitigation. We appealed this ruling, but Ecology  changed the contested provisions before the court could hear the case.  This ended the dispute over the water permit and meant that the PCHB's ruling on out-of-kind mitigation remained in place, even though CELP did not have the opportunity to challenge it. 

Courts have recognized the fundamental unfairness of such a situation. In this case, it appeared that Ecology might use the PCHB's decision to justify future out-of-kind mitigation schemes, even though the Foster decision would appear to bar this strategy.  Although precedent requires that the ruling be vacated, the PCHB refused to do so and we appealed to the Thurston County Superior Court. After Matt's oral argument, Judge Gary Tabor ruled that the PCHB's refusal to vacate was error and vacated the ruling.   

Meet CELP's Newest Board Member - Steve Robinson

Previously the Public Affairs Manager and Policy Analyst for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for 26 years, 
Steve Robinson  has had a career working closely with tribes on public relations and natural resources, and joined the CELP Board in June 2016. He has also worked in corporate public affairs, served as Chief of Public Information and Public Affairs Director for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Advertising Manager for a major real estate company in Portland, Oregon and worked several years as a daily newspaper reporter. 

What's your first memory of being aware of water conservation, or conservation in general?

I have always known how precious and rare fresh water is. I first became aware of the need to conserve it when I was a boy, fishing on the Calapooia River, which runs through my birth town of Albany, Oregon. Even then, the water in the river would run low in the summer, though it will contained enough to accommodate the activities of a young boy who couldn't afford a fishing pole. But who needed one? There were plenty of long sticks nearby and all one had to do was tie some fishing line to its end, put a hook and some weight on the other end of the line and dangle it in the water. 

I became committed to working on conservation during the late '60's and early '70's as a journalism student at the University of Oregon in Eugene. That was a time of civil unrest and there was no shortage of boycotts and protests on the UO campus. The message of the masses was to end the war in Vietnam, but also to take better care of the environment. It was a time that gave birth to Earth Day and it was the first time I became active with the Native American Tribes - as a member of the UO Indian Student Union and as a reporter for the University's daily newspaper. 

Read the full interview here.
Member Photo Submission
Jen-Shen Lieu and a friend paddle his beautiful wooden canoe on a quiet stretch of the Snoqualmie River, along with other members of the Paddle Trails Canoe Club. The Snoqualmie and its tributaries are home base for Seattle-area canoeists and whitewater kayakers. It's so familiar that they don't use the river's name, instead referring to its stretches: the Middle Middle, the Upper Middle, the South Fork, the Club Stretch. 

- Photo and caption submitted by Julie Titone, Edmonds, WA

Have a photo or story you want to share about your favorite river? Please submit them to Elan at development@celp.org.

Thanks for taking the time to read Washington Water Watch!  Thanks to your help, CELP has accomplished much but, as you can see, more needs to be done. You can support our work by making a donation online here, or mailing a check to: 

85 S Washington St #301, Seattle, WA 98104 

The Center for Environmental Law & Policy is a statewide organization whose mission is to protect, preserve and restore Washington's waters through education, policy reform, agency advocacy, and public interest litigation.

If you care about a future with water, please become a CELP member today!
You can reach us at:  206-829-8299 or  email us .