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.

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