Washington Water Watch 
June 2017

In This Issue
Thank You for Attending Celebrate Water!
Spokane Rule Update
Columbia River Treaty Media Library
100 Years of Water Law
Protect (and Paddle) the Hanford Reach
Keep Our Rivers Flowing!
Help ensure clean and flowing waters in Washington State by making a gift to CELP!

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Upcoming Events
August 12 or 13
Paddle the Hanford Reach 
CELP Board Member and acclaimed mountaineer and paddler John Roskelley, will be guiding two kayaking trips of the Hanford Reach section of the Columbia River. 
Buy tickets here.

The original May trip dates for this event were rescheduled to August 12th and 13th due to unsafe weather conditions on the Columbia. 
Enjoy Washington's Rivers this Summer!

Dear Members of CELP -

Summer is finally here and thanks to record rainfall this winter and spring, Washington's river flows are high, and mountain snowpack should keep them flowing strong all summer. That's good news for our rivers and the fish that rely on healthy flows, but the 2015 drought reminds us that climate change is making stream flows less predictable from year to year, and water management more difficult. That's why CELP continues to advocate for sustainable water resource policy that considers climate change and protects our water resources for future generations in the legislature and in the courts.  
The Governor just announced the start of the 3rd Special Legislative Session, and water resource legislation is still in play. The Senate continues to push for a "Hirst fix," and tie its passage to the state's budget. CELP maintains a presence in Olympia working to protect Hirst and other recent Supreme Court water decisions. But we can't do it alone. We rely on support from you, our members and supporters.
CELP just held its annual fundraising event Celebrate Water a few weeks ago, and it was a great success. Congratulations to Dr. John Osborn on receiving the Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero 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 Larry Wasserman with the Swinomish Tribe for being our speaker at the pre-reception CLE workshop on Mitigation of Domestic Water Use: Requirements and Practical Experience.
In this issue we have a recap of our Celebrate Water event, a Spokane River Rule challenge update, information on CELP's Columbia River Treaty document and media libraries, an overview of 100 years of Washington Water Law, and more.

Kayaking on the Snohomish 
- photo by Julie Titone
Trish Rolfe
Executive Director

P.S. June is National Rivers Month - if you spent time on your favorite Washington River this month, send CELP a photo!

Thank You for Attending Celebrate Water!

Thank you to everyone who attended Celebrate Water event on Thursday, June 15th! We honored Dr. John Osborn with the Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero Award  in recognition of his tremendous environmental leadership in the Pacific Northwest, and his work on the Ethics & Treaty Project, which seeks to advance ethical principles of justice and stewardship in modernizing the Columbia River Treaty. 

We heard moving words from Rachael Paschal Osborn, Pauline Terbasket from the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Reverend Tom Soeldner, and Julie Titone.

A pre-reception CLE was held on the Mitigation of Domestic Water Use featuring speakers Dan Von Seggern of CELP, and Larry Wasserman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

Thanks to our supporters and sponsors, we raised over $20,000 for CELP's work to protect Washington's rivers and streams. We could not have done it without you - thank you!

2017 Ralph W. Jonson Water Hero Award recipient John Osborn receives a gift from Pauline Terbasket of the Okanagan Nation Alliance

Reverend Thomas Soeldner speaks on the life and work of Dr. John Osborn

For the full album of photos from the event, visit our Facebook page   here .

Thank you to the Upper Columbia United Tribes for being a Stream Sponsor of Celebrate Water 2017!

Thank you to our 2017 Celebrate Water Sponsors:
 Anne Johnson, Columbia Institute for Water Policy, Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team, Jim & Nancy Soriano, Kampmeier & Knutsen PLLC, Norm's Eatery & Ale House, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Osborn Family, Sierra Club South Sound Group, Sierra Club Upper Columbia River Group, Smith & Lowney PLLC, The Law Offices of M. Patrick Williams, Thomas Soeldner & Linda Finney, Todd Wildermuth & Sanne Knudsen, Upper Columbia United Tribes and Wright Yachts.

The Spokane River at 741 cfs  - photo by John Osborn
Spokane Rule Update

by Dan Von Seggern

On June 9, Thurston County Superior Court  Judge Dixon denied CELP's challenge to the Spokane River Instream Flow Rule  along with our appeal of Ecology's denial of our Petition for Rule Amendment, finding that we had not shown that the Rule or Ecology's denial of the petition was beyond Ecology's statutory authority or arbitrary and capricious. While CELP is disappointed with this ruling, we are evaluating our options for appeal. We believe that the Rule does not adequately protect the Spokane River and its users, and will continue to fight for an adequate summer flow.

Columbia River at Revelstoke, B.C. - the site of the 4th "One River - Ethics Matter" conference series
Columbia River Treaty Media & Document Library

As part of his work on the Ethics & Treaty Project, John Osborn has compiled a wealth of information from various sources on dams, salmon recovery, ethics, and the Columbia River Treaty that are stored on CELP's website. 

The Columbia River Treaty Media & Document Libraries are a rich source of documents that include information on the history of the treaty as well as current studies, articles, and films from tribes and First Nations, media outlets, legislators, and more.

We hope that the availability of this resource will encourage more public education, dialogue, and engagement on the issues facing the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty.

Palouse River - photo from WA Dept. of Ecology
100 Years of Water Law

June 6th marked the 100-year anniversary of the adoption of Washington's Water Code, which established the fundamental tenets of Washington's water law as we know it today. The 1917 law instituted the concept of "prior appropriation" (also known as the "first in time, first in right" system) which gives priority to surface water rights and applications established earlier over those received later. The law also recognized Washington's water as a resource held in common by citizens of the state, and mandated that a water right must be obtained by individuals for use of the state's waters. 
To commemorate a century of water law, the Washington State Department of Ecology has put together a comprehensive  chronological story map of the history of Washington's water law, as well as an informational video series featured on their website.  Court decisions and tribal rights have contributed to many changes to Washington's original 1917 water code, and its history is complex and vital to understanding the fundamentals of water law in our state. 

The White Bluffs section of the Hanford Reach National Monument
The Hanford Reach is Under Threat from the Trump Administration

Under direction from President Trump, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is currently reviewing 27 national monuments, including the Hanford Reach. 
First designated as a national monument in 2000, the Hanford Reach is part of the Columbia River plateau, and is the last non-tidal, free-flowing section of the Columbia River in the United States. The Hanford Reach contains some of the most productive salmon spawning areas in the Pacific Northwest, and is important for sagebrush habitat and dozens of unique plant and insect species. The Reach is also culturally significant to Native American tribes - more than 150 archaeological sites are located within the monument. As the last free flowing section of the Columbia River in the U.S., the Hanford Reach is also an important area for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and bird watching. Loss of national monument designation would mean the loss of federal protection for this vitally important and beautiful area of Washington State.
Public comments on the Hanford Reach and 25 other national monuments will be accepted until July 10th.

Paddle the Reach with CELP & John Roskelley

Experience the Hanford Reach national monument by boat! This August, CELP Board Member and renowned mountaineer and paddler, John Roskelley, will be leading two kayak tours of the Hanford Reach segment of the Columbia River to benefit CELP. The tour will launch at 9 a.m., and take paddlers 19 miles from Vernita Bridge to the White Bluffs WDFW Boat Launch. Depending on the speed of the water, the trip will take five to six hours. 
Kayaks, paddles, and life jackets provided. Some paddling experience required. 
Limited spots available on Saturday, August 12th or Sunday, August 13th.

Tickets are $150 per person. All proceeds will benefit the Center for Environmental Law & Policy's work to protect Washington's rivers and streams.
Contact Elan Ebeling at eebeling@celp.org with any questions.

Happy National Month of Rivers!

June was National River Month! We hope you got outside to enjoy some of Washington's amazing rivers like the Stillaguamish, pictured here - photo by Julie Titone

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 .