Support the efforts to save the Skykomish River through a letter to the Governor
Letter Writing Tips:
Keep it Simple
- Your letter should address a single topic or issue. Typed, one-page letters are best. Many PACs (Political Action Committees) recommend a three-paragraph letter structured like this:
- Say why you are writing and who you are. List your “credentials.” (If you want a response, you must include your name and address, even when using email.)
- Provide more detail. Be factual, not emotional. Provide specific rather than general information about how the topic affects you and others. If a certain bill is involved, cite the correct title or number whenever possible.
- Close by requesting the action you want taken: a vote for or against a bill, or change in general policy.
- The best letters are courteous, to the point, and include specific supporting examples.
Submit your letters via US Mail or email to:
Governor Jay Inslee Office of the Governor P.O. Box40002 Olympia, WA 98504-0002
To use the sample letters on the following pages, fill in the date at the top and personal info at the bottom, all highlighted in yellow, and send it to him either snail mail, electronically (URL below), or both. Change the wording around if you want, especially the last paragraph; change the margins, change the fonts, whatever you want. The more unique each letter looks, the more impact it will have on him. If you don’t have anything unique to say, then just send the form letter below. We’ve put pertinent facts down to make it easy for you to send him a letter without investing a lot of time in the process.
In addition to sending a letter snail mail, you can electronically submit your letter to Governor Inslee at this site: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/ Select “energy” as the subject of your message.
***You must at least fill in the required fields. If you use one of the letters below, personalize it by adding the correct date at the top and your personal info at the bottom of the letter if you don’t make any changes to it. *** You can then copy-paste the letter onto the “comments” section of the above web page.
Scan through our Talking Points page for more letter writing ideas.
TEMPLATE #1 FOR WRITING TO GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE
[Date]Governor Jay Inslee Office of the Governor P.O. Box 40002 Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Re: Skykomish River, Federal Wild and Scenic Status
Dear Governor Inslee:
I am writing to ask that you recommend to the Secretary of the Interior that the South Fork of the Skykomish River be added as a federally protected Wild and Scenic River. The Skykomish has been part of the Washington State Scenic River System (RCW 79A.55) since 1977. Although the language of RCW 79A.55 does not specifically exclude hydropower plants, such a proposal on a river in this system is incompatible with the intent of the legislation. Also of significance is that the Northwest Power and Conservation Council has designated the entire length of the South Fork of the Skykomish, up to Index Creek, as a formally Protected Area for our anadromous fish.
The Snohomish County Public Utilities District (SnoPUD) has received permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to investigate installing a hydropower plant on the Skykomish River. The proposed impoundment would be above Canyon Falls, with actual power generation downriver at Sunset Falls. The proposed weir dam and power plant is not economically feasible, providing less than 1% of the county’s power. During your campaign, you made energy a top priority and have followed through that with actions since assuming office. The small benefit of the SnoPUD proposal is not worth the long-term financial cost to Washington state residents. The project is also not eligible as renewable under I-937 which was passed in 2006. I-937 does not recognize new hydro on rivers as renewable, although SnoPUD has made a good faith effort to amend I-937 the last couple of years to have new hydro on rivers included as renewable under I-937. In your speeches on energy, you acknowledge the effect of climate change on the snowpack and glaciers; this is another reason the SnoPUD project isn’t justified.
The most efficient way for a river to be included in this federal Wild and Scenic system is through administrative action by the Secretary of the Interior after receiving an application from a state Governor. The process is detailed in a document titled Designating Rivers Through Section 2(a)(ii) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. As you begin your term as Governor, you have a unique opportunity to facilitate full legal protection of the Skykomish.
I implore you to approach Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, on behalf of the Skykomish River, to obtain this federal protection, and remove further threat to this spectacular section of river. Future generations will have you to thank if the river gets designated Wild and Scenic, and thus permanently protected. Such a classification would enhance, and be compatible with, the State Highway 2 corridor and nearby Wild Sky Wilderness Area, which supports local businesses and caters to visitors and recreation-oriented customers.
A legacy such as this would be nothing short of magnificent. Thank you for your consideration.
Respectfully,[Name] [Street Address] [Town], [State] [Zip Code] [Phone][E-mail]
TEMPLATE #2 FOR WRITING TO GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE
Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Re: Request forSkykomishRiverFederal Wild and Scenic Designation
Dear Governor Inslee,
I am writing to ask you to protect Western Washington’s Skykomish River from unwise hydropower development through formal designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. Section 2(a)(ii) of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Public Law 90-542; 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to include a river already protected by a state river protection program in the National System upon the request of that state’s governor. The river is already included as the centerpiece of the Washington State Scenic River System, RCW 79A.55, passed in 1977.
Despite widespread opposition, Washington State’s Snohomish County Public Utility District #1 (SnoPUD) has proposed building a new dam on the South Fork of the Skykomish River near Sunset Falls. SnoPUD’s proposed new dam is a multi-million dollar boondoggle that will produce minimal energy while posing serious risks to our environment, recreation opportunities, and quality of life.
SnoPUD’s proposed project violates Washington State’s renewable energy standards (WAC 194-37) and SnoPUD’s own integrated resource plan because it includes a new impoundment in disregard of voter approved I-937 mandates. The project would provide less than 1% of SnoPUD’s overall power supply while irreparably damaging one of our only remaining free flowing rivers and de-watering two of our most scenic waterfalls. The project is widely opposed by citizens and conservation groups.
Sunset and Canyon Falls are in a Northwest Power and Conservation Council Protected Area from hydropower development because the Council has determined that “such development would have major negative impacts that could not be reversed.” If you were to visit the Sunset Falls site I am sure you would agree that building a dam in this location is completely inappropriate.
The South Fork of the Skykomish River has been determined ‘suitable’ and has been recommended to Congress for Wild and Scenic River designation by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the 1990 Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest Plan. The river is listed by the National Park Service on the National Rivers Inventory with a potential classification as a recreational resource, and is noted as having outstanding remarkable values (ORVs) including Scenery, Recreation, Fish and Wildlife. It Qualifies for National Wild and Scenic Designation, needing only your request to make it happen.
I implore you to please apply to Secretary of the Interior on behalf of the Skykomish River.
Wild and Scenic River designation of the Skykomish will ensure that future generations of people, salmon, aquatic birds, otters and other existing wildlife will have access to this natural treasure.
Thank you for considering this request.
Sincerely,[Name] [Street Address] [Town], [State] [Zip Code] [Phone][E-mail]
TEMPLATE #3 FOR WRITING TO GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE
The Honorable Jay Inslee Governor of the State of Washington P.O. Box 40002 Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Re: Skykomish River, Federal Wild and Scenic Status
Dear Governor Inslee:
I request that the Skykomish River be added as a federally protected Wild and Scenic River. A recommendation from you to the Secretary of the Interior can make this happen.
The Skykomish easily meets the criteria laid out in the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Public Law 90-542; 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.) which requires such rivers be preserved in their free-flowing condition, without impediments such as dams.
The Snohomish County Public Utilities District (SnoPUD) has received permission to investigate putting an impoundment on the Skykomish River above Canyon Falls, with power generation downriver at Sunset Falls. Installation of a hydropower plant on a river in this system does not seem compatible with the intent of the existing: Washington State Scenic River System, RCW 79A.55, as passed in 1977.
On behalf of all of the wildlife and current and future generations of people who enjoy the benefits of the Skykomish River in its’ now free-flowing condition, I request that you make application to the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell as spelled out in the document: “Designating Rivers Through Section 2(a)(ii) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.” The Skykomish can be protected by administrative action from the Secretary of the Interior upon receiving a request from you, our State Governor.
Thank you for consideration in this matter.
Sincerely, [Name] [Street Address] [Town], [State] [Zip Code] [Phone][E-mail]