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Advocates Ask Governor Inslee for Action on Spokane River Flow

Orin Blomberg via flickr
Spokane River in Riverfront Park

Spokane River advocates are asking Governor Inslee to weigh in on establishing new minimum flow for the waterway.

Conservationists are seeking a minimum flow of 1800 to 2800 cubic feet per second (CFS) to support fisheries and recreation.

The State Department of Ecology has set the minimum summer flow at 850 CFS and rejected a request to increase it after some 2000 comments were submitted to the agency during a public comment period, many from those who recreate in the river and want to make sure there is adequate water in the late summer months.

John Roskelley is a spokesman for the Center for Environmental Law and Policy, who says they are hoping to increase the recreational potential of the river throughout the summer.

“The flows won’t be available to rafters and kayakers and people who use the river. Also, climate change is a part of our world now, and we're afraid if they set the flows too low, then we won’t have water in the river early in the year as well because of the lack of snow and then the melt.”

Now, advocates are asking the governor to weigh in and over-rule the Department of Ecology’s decision.  Governor Inslee has 45 days to respond the citizens' petition.  The groups say asking the governor to weigh in is the next step before litigation.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.