Write to Congress

Support the efforts to save the Skykomish River through a letter to Congress

The Skykomish River can forever be protected from hydropower development through formal designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. The primary means of designating America’s rivers as Wild and Scenic is through congressional action, as provided by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.


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:

The Honorable Patty Murray                                                                   (STATE SENATOR)





Dear Senator,


The Honorable Maria Cantwell                                                                (STATE SENATOR)

311 HART




Dear Senator


The Honorable Rick Larson                                                                    (STATE REPRESENTATIVE)





Dear Representative,


To use the sample letters on the following pages, fill in the date and personal info at the bottom, all highlighted in yellow, and send it to her 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, the more impact it will have.   If you don’t have anything unique to say, then just send it.  We’ve put pertinent facts down to make it easy for you to send her 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.

*** Make sure to add the date at the top and your personal info at the bottom of the letter if you don’t make any changes to it. ***    You could copy-paste the letter onto the “comments” section of the above web page.

Scan through our Talking Points page for more letter writing ideas.


Click here to Download Template #1 as a Word Document




The Honorable [Senator or Representative] [Street Address] [Building] [Town] [State] [Zip Code]


RE:      SkykomishRiver– National Wild andScenicRiverDesignation – Protection from Hydropower Development


Dear [Senator or Representative],

I am writing to ask your assistance to protect Western Washington’s Skykomish River from hydropower development through formal designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. The primary means of designating America’s rivers as Wild and Scenic is through congressional action, as provided by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 (16 U.S.C. 1271-1287).

The SkykomishRiveris already designated as a Washington State Scenic River(79A.55 RCW); the legislative purpose of which is to “protect and preserve the natural character of such rivers and fulfill other conservation purposes.” Rivers in the system “shall be preserved in as natural a condition as practical and that overuse of such rivers, which tends to downgrade their natural condition, shall be discouraged.”   The Skykomish River is also in a Northwest Power and Conservation Council Protected Area from hydropower development, is included in the US Park Service National Rivers Inventory, and has been recommended for designation as a National Wild andScenicRiver for its Scenic, Recreation, Fish, and Wildlife values by the US Forest Service.  The Skykomish River has been designated as critical habitat for ESA listed Puget Sound Chinook salmon by the National Fisheries Service and it is vital to ongoing salmon recovery plans. The Skykomish River is currently free flowing and provides spawning habitat for four species of salmon, as well as steelhead and bull trout.

Despite all of these facts, Snohomish County PUD district #1 received a preliminary permit application for hydropower development on the Skykomish River in September 2011 (FERC P-14295).  PUD’s application is inconsistent with State Renewable Energy Standards (WAC 194-37) because it requires a new diversion and impoundment. The project is ineligible for renewable energy portfolio credits and is counter-productive to achieving the voter approved (I-937) mandate.  PUD’s filing requires State and Federal Agencies such as National Marine Fisheries, National Park Service , U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, U.S. EPA, WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, WA State Game Department, WA State Parks Dept., WA State Dept. of Natural Resources, WA State Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation and the Tulalip Tribes to each spend many thousands of dollars to defend against the project at a time when agency budgets are  tighter than ever.  The Sunset Falls project is vigorously opposed by Washington State residents and environmental agencies including the Sierra Club, the Alpine Lakes Protection Society, American Rivers,  American Whitewater, the Hydropower Reform Coalition, the North Cascades Conservation Council, The Mountaineers and Washington Wild.

Please consider the possibility of recommending the Skykomish River for further study under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act which would serve to help protect the river from hydropower development and preserve this priceless natural resource for future generations.



[Name] [Street Address] [Town], [State]  [Zip Code] [Phone][E-mail]