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Chehalis Basin Strategy

Proposed Dam on the Upper Chehalis River and Chehalis Basin Strategy

The Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) is closely monitoring the proposed dam on the Upper Chehalis River and the State of Washington’s Chehalis Basin Strategy. QIN Vice-President Tyson Johnston serves on the Chehalis Basin Board which oversees the Strategy in implementing the dual goals of flood damage reduction and habitat restoration across the entire Chehalis Basin. The Nation is also part of a team of scientists and natural resource managers developing an ambitious and comprehensive Aquatic Species Restoration Plan (ASRP).

While the ASRP and the dam are not formally linked to each other, they are the two most significant initiatives of the Chehalis Basin Strategy. In evaluating the Strategy and the proposed dam the Nation is:

  • Looking to the best available science to determine likely impacts on Treaty-reserved resources, primarily salmon: QIN is the only Treaty Tribe involved in the Strategy
  • Assessing whether the dam and other proposed flood damage reduction actions are the right choice to protect the most people, property and infrastructure across the entire Basin

The Nation’s concerns about the dam’s unavoidable impact on salmon, and its Treaty rights, stem from the dam’s compounding, or cumulative, impacts on top of decades of decline in salmon habitat from a broad range of human activities including development, logging, road building, diking, filling in wetlands, water pollution and climate change.

The prosperity, safety and quality of life of QIN members and our Grays Harbor County neighbors are inextricably linked. The Nation feels a governmental responsibility to pay particular attention to how the Strategy will serve the needs and interests of communities in the Lower Chehalis Basin.


QIN Chehalis Frequently Asked Questions

Chehalis Dam would not address all major floods, nor regular, shallow flooding

Chehalis Basin Strategy tops $200 million in funding from Washington State


Guest Commentary, Centralia Chronicle, Aug 9, 2019

Chehalis Tribe, Quinault Nation concerned about dam sponsor mitigation plan

Centralia Chronicle, Nov. 30, 2018

Extinction is Not an Option: Quinault Worry for Salmon, Climate Change and Dams

Aberdeen Daily World, Oct. 1, 2018

Chehalis system dam needs attention on salmon, Quinaults say

QIN Press Release: NEW DAM: Quinault Raises Concerns, Sept. 28, 2018

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Quinault Division of Natural Resources Director

Quinault Division of Natural Resources Director Dave Bingaman