April 10, 2018
Contact: Wendy McDermott, 970-275-2057
Amy Kober, 503-708-1145
Seattle – American Rivers announced a significant victory on Washington’s South Fork Skykomish River today, just one year after it named the river among America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2017. The Snohomish County Public Utility District cancelled the Sunset Falls hydropower project that would have caused irreparable harm to the river, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities.
The proposed project would have rerouted a 1.1 mile stretch of the river through an underground tunnel to a powerhouse at the base of Sunset Falls.
“This is a major victory for everyone who values our region’s healthy, free-flowing rivers,” said Wendy McDermott with American Rivers. “Thanks to overwhelming public support and determined local activists, the South Fork Skykomish River has gone from ‘most endangered’ to ‘saved’. I commend the Snohomish PUD for making this prudent decision today.”
“The cancellation of the ill-advised Sunset Falls hydropower project means the river can continue to flow freely, supporting salmon and steelhead for generations to come,” McDermott said.
The South Fork Skykomish was declared by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council as a Protected Area under its Fish and Wildlife Program, which means it has been deemed an inappropriate location for hydropower development. The U.S. Forest Service has recommended the river for federal designation as a Wild and Scenic River due to its scenic, recreational, fish and wildlife values.
About American Rivers
American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 275,000 members, supporters and volunteers.