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View: 2013 Sierra Club’s 3rd Annual Campout at Bumping Lake

New Dams would enshrine water waste, taxpayer bailouts - and destroy Ancient Forest, Shrub-Steppe Habitat

Water waste by irrigators in the Yakima basin is driving plans for new irrigation insurance dams in the Yakima Basin – including a Bumping Lake dam that would destroy ancient forests.

New dams aren’t the way to address water needs.  
Chris Maykut, Brock Evans, Estella Leopold.  Everett Herald.  

We need a new ethic for the lands and waters -- for the Yakima, and far beyond. We cannot dam our way out of climate change and water shortages. Bumping Lake and the Wymer site (between Ellensburg and Yakima) are now threatened with destruction by new irrigation dams. You can help. Together we need to wave a big red stop sign at the Yakima Plan: STOP new dams and STOP water waste in the Yakima Basin.  full article


Yakima Plan:  Not yet shovel-ready.  
Karl Forsgaard, The Wild Cascades.   

In the Washington State Legislature’s 2013 session, the proposed funding of Yakima Plan “early action items” grew from $23 million to $134 million after they were included in the new Governor’s first “jobs” bill.  The underlying premise is that these “early action items” are all “shovel-ready,” but are they?  For this massive construction project, the State’s largest since WPPSS, have project planning, engineering, environmental review and permitting advanced to the stage where laborers may immediately be employed to being work?  full article


The Water Report.  Yakima Water Plan:  The Other Side of the Story

“The Yakima Plan proposes activities with serious adverse environmental impacts relating to water (e.g., new dams inundating ancient forests and endangered species habitat) and land (dedicating national forest lands to off-road vehicles). The actual cost of the Plan is disguised in incomplete economic reports.”  full article


Green Scissors Report:  save tax dollars, stop funding for proposed Yakima dams, Columbia Basin Irrigation Expansion.

"We need to take the common sense solution of saving money by ending environmentally harmful spending,” Ben Screiber, Friends of the Earth.  . . . (1) full Green Scissors Report  (2) news release.


National Research Council:  ACOE water resource infrastructure: Deterioration, Investment, or Divestment.

America can no longer afford to invest in infrastructure that either doesn’t meet its needs or whose cost is greater than its value . . . (1) full report  (2) interview

“A sense of betrayal” in the Yakima Plan.  The Wild Cascades, pp 10-12.

With an estimated cost of up to $5 billion, the Yakima Plan is the largest project in the State of Washington since WPPSS. . . . read full article pp 10-12.

Yakima Basin Plan Could Flood Shoreline Community. Northwest Public Radio.  Sept. 11, 2012.

People who love Bumping Lake and the magnificent Ancient Forests there are rallying.  ... (1) full article  (2) audio

Yakima plan flawed from start. Article by Charlie de la Chappelle of YBSA and Marlin Rechterman of Kittitas Audubon Chapter.  August 9, 2012.

The first flaw is membership. ...read full article

Sierra Club is committed to water supply solutions and fish passage that involve common-sense water management.

We believe that in the face of climate change, aggressive water conservation, adoption of water efficiency standards and metering, water markets, low-impact storage projects (e.g., aquifer storage and recovery), forest and flood-plain restoration, and other strategies to promote natural storage are much more cost-effective than new dams, and could vastly improve the efficiency of water use in Washington State.

The historic, massive hydrologic re-engineering of Washington’s rivers using dams and irrigation projects has caused historic environmental damage. We strongly urge decision-makers to focus on future water projects that fix existing problems, not cause new ones.

We oppose any new storage projects on the Yakima River and its tributaries, including the Bumping Dam Enlargement (Large or Small Option), Wymer Dam (on Lmuma Creek), and Black Rock Dam. DOE and Bureau of Reclamation (BuRec) identified numerous possible measures for improved water conservation, including measures in the No Action Alternative and the Enhanced Water Conservation Alternative of the January 2008 Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study Draft Planning Report/Environmental Impact (Draft Report). The conservation measures of these alternatives should be implemented before there is any further study or action on new storage projects.

The Sierra Club supports conserving land in the Teanaway River watershed.  However, we find that such conservation should not serve as “mitigation” for the permanent loss of bull trout habitat and old growth national forest lands surrounding the existing Bumping Lake or shrub-steppe land flooded by a Wymer Dam because such mitigation would be off-site in another Yakima sub-basin and out-of-kind, not replacing the same threatened fish/wildlife habitat.


             Yakima River Future

   Washington State Chapter

New dam would destroy magnificent Bumping Ancient Forests.  David E. Ortman photo

    News Room  


     Water Conservation

        Dam Economics

    Yakima Water Overview


    Dept of Ecology




Sierra Club - Washington State Chapter

Friends of Bumping Lake

North Cascades Conservation Council

Lower Columbia Audubon Society

Endangered Species Coalition

Western Federation of Outdoor Clubs

Green Scissors Campaign

Friends of the Earth

Sierra Club Campout 2011


US Bureau of Reclamation

Washington Dept of Ecology

Brock Evans on the battle to save Bumping Lake:

“it’s time to fight back - hard.  And this time around, finally enshrine this natural masterpiece where it truly belongs...”   Click here to read Brock’s story.

Mt. Rainier, Bumping Lake, and the William O. Douglas Wilderness.       USBR photo