Northwest NEWS

November 16, 1998


A combination of errors prompted follow-up

   A combination of my own error and an editing error in my 11-2-98 letter on the Tributary 90 meeting at the Old Hollywood Schoolhouse prompts this follow-up.
   I, not the Sammamish Watershed Forum, said that the $14.5 million estimate for Sammamish River restoration would not cure the river's temperature problem, because the river's problem is caused not by a lack of shade but from warm surface water flowing downstream from the Lake Sammamish weir. The Sammamish Watershed Forum's press releases never mention that weir problem, which was stated by a state fisheries biologist, but always indicate that native shade trees will solve the temperature problem. (The odd thing is that the weir has recently been redone, but without any attempt to solve the problem of water flowing from the warm lake surface instead of being pumped up from the cold bottom.)
   My mistake was in quoting $14.5 million as the estimate, rather than the $14 million Forum estimate. It should be noted that when river restoration was first proposed in 1991, the publicized estimate was $300,000. By 1993 it has risen to $14.5 million; it's currently at $14 million, not counting the value of volunteer labor.
   With the imminent Endangered Species Act listing of chinook salmon, the urge to transform various side channels that have contained trout--but never salmon--into salmon habitat, could escalate the $14 million into who knows how much.
   Maxine Keesling, Woodinville