Archive for March, 2012

Mar28

Yakima Herald-Republic: Counties team up to help sell Yakima River Basin water plan

by David Lester

Yakima Herald-Republic

March 20, 2012

YAKIMA, Wash. — Now the selling job begins.

Various groups supporting an ambitious plan to expand water storage and provide environmental benefits in the Yakima River Basin are ready to spend money to build support for the plan locally and with state and federal lawmakers.

Yakima County commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement with Kittitas and Benton counties to contribute $10,000 each to the public outreach effort. Basin irrigation districts will contribute another $30,000 to the effort, according to Ron Van Gundy, a consultant to the Roza Irrigation District.

The three counties plan to hire a government relations firm to seek Congressional and state legislative support for the plan, which was drafted over more than a two-year period.

Michael Garrity, representing the conservation group American Rivers and a member of the work group that devised the plan, said the groups plan outreach to other environmental organizations.

Continue reading the story.

Mar05

Yakima Herald-Republic: Yakima River Basin water plan released

by David Lester

Yakima Herald-Republic

March 2, 2012

YAKIMA, Wash. — The preliminary rounds are over.

Now the real battle for support and money begins for a plan Gov. Chris Gregoire describes as one of the most significant ecological restoration projects in the West.

Federal and state officials rolled out a final environmental report Friday on a plan to meet Yakima River Basin’s future needs for more water storage, fish passage and land preservation.

Michael Garrity of Seattle, representing the conservation group American Rivers, served on the group that devised the plan. Also represented were the Yakamas, farmers, county and state governments and fishery agencies.

Garrity said the inclusion of land protection allows the Yakima basin to set a new standard for what a Western water project should look like.

“This plan recognizes the need to restore native fish and landscapes that help protect a healthy river,” Garrity said.

Continue reading the story.

Mar05

Seattle Times: $4 billion plan proposed for Yakima water supplies

The state and federal governments released a long-awaited plan Friday for improving the water supply in the agricultural Yakima River basin, where periodic droughts reduce streamflows for farmers, communities and threatened fish. 

By SHANNON DININNY

Associated Press

March 2, 2012

YAKIMA, Wash. —

The state and federal governments released a long-awaited plan Friday for improving the water supply in the agricultural Yakima River basin, where periodic droughts reduce streamflows for farmers, communities and threatened fish.

The $4 billion plan released jointly by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Washington state Department of Ecology resulted from months of discussions by various stakeholders in the region, including conservation and farm groups, local communities and the Yakama Nation.

Continue reading the story.

Mar01

Ellensburg

Ellensburg lies in the Kittitas Valley on the east side of the Cascade mountain range.

The town was first established in the 1860s as a meeting place for cattle herders. The town was originally named “Robbers’ Roost” after the local trading post. Ellensburg has fantastic
access to a wide variety of recreation opportunities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, rafting, fly fishing and horseback riding. Ellensburg falls in the Cascades’ rain shadow, receiving only 9 inches of precipitation and enjoying more than 300 days of sunshine per year, making it the perfect fall or winter getaway from the rainy west side.

Ellensburg has a vibrant historic downtown area, which earned national recognition for its historic preservation efforts. Visitors can walk to art galleries, restaurants, antique stores, wine shops and museums. The town also hosts many annual events and festivals including the Ellensburg Wine Festival, an art show and auction, Jazz in the Valley, the Kittitas County Fair and many more. Click here for a full listing.

Ellensburg is also home to Central Washington University, which brings a wealth of cultural and community events for residents and visitors alike. Every Saturday, May through October, from 9:00am – 1:00pm Ellensburg hosts the Kittitas County Farmers Market. The Farmers Market is known for its farm-fresh and local produce, textiles and jewelry, baked goods and much more.

If you visit during Labor Day weekend, be sure to check out the Ellensburg Rodeo - the oldest of its kind in Washington State

To learn more about Ellensburg and Kittitas County, visit the Ellensburg website or the Visit Ellensburg page.

Mar01

Cle Elum

Located in the beautiful Teanaway Valley, the town of Cle Elum has access to a range of world-class outdoor recreation activities in both winter and summer. The name Cle Elum comes from the Kittitas word “Tle-el-Lum,” meaning “swift water” after the Cle Elum River.

First settled in 1883, Cle Elum boomed in 1886 with the discovery of coal deposits in the area, leading to a growth in population and the construction of a railroad station for easy access to the coal mines. Cle Elum was the first town west of Denver, Colorado to have “organized” skiing; downhill skiers participated in popular ski jumping events and drew crowds of up to 8,000 spectators! Today, the town’s location in the foothills of the North Cascades offers year round access to outdoor recreation. In the summer, hiking, backpacking, fishing, and climbing are popular activities, while the winter brings opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

For more information, visit the City of Elum and Cle Elum on the Net for information on lodging, recreation opportunities, and more!

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