Take Action Against the complete disaster at Winchester Dam on the iconic North Umpqua River!!! NOW!!!
From Water Watch of Oregon:
Just two weeks ago the Rogue Valley Times described the situation at Winchester Dam on the North Umpqua River as an "environmental disaster," and it's only gotten worse. In fact, it's become intolerable.
Summer steelhead have been throwing themselves at the dam since at least Monday, trying to escape the warm lower river and reach 160 miles of cold water habitat upstream. But they're blocked from their spawning grounds and are wasting themselves against the closed dam because the no-experience dam repair contractor — and board president of the district which owns the dam — failed to finish the repairs by the scheduled deadline.
Adding injury to insult, the just-added "improvements" to the dam structure includes dozens of new, sharp metal protrusions from the dam at fish-jumping level, as well as new gaps jumping fish will fall into that will only increase the delay, injury and mortality already suffered by salmon and steelhead attempting to pass this dam. All to ensure 156 private property owners have a place to water ski.
And with the lack of action from regulatory agencies or elected officials, even as reports of repeated violations in broad daylight pour in, the dam repair contractor continues to behave with what can only be described as aggressive indifference.
The grim new images of steelhead hopelessly jumping at the dam have already inspired local river advocates to stage a second protest at the dam this past week. Help ensure their voices are heard!
To quote one WaterWatch of Oregon supporter on Instagram, "I am literally sick to my stomach over this entire situation. This is beyond words. We are being ignored." A resident of Azalea wrote this letter to the editor to the Roseburg News-Review. Another WaterWatch supporter summed up the entire Winchester Dam situation as a "disgrace." It is.
Take action today by sending a letter to your state and federal representatives, including Governor Kotek, and ask them to ensure a full investigation into this disaster — and full accountability under the law for the repair contractor and dam owners.
And take a moment to share this note with friends, family and colleagues. Let's work together to end the ongoing harm from Winchester Dam and restore a free-flowing North Umpqua River that benefits native fish runs, wildlife and Oregon communities. Take action now!
From Dax Messett:
Since our lawmakers and management agencies have completely and utterly failed us so far, another thing you can do is write some honest reviews on Yelp, Google, and Nextdoor about the company responsible for this complete and utter disaster TerraFirma. You can give them a call at 1-866-303-7924 and ask them if they can fix your dam too...only issue is that hey have never worked on a dam before. In fact, I called for an estimate on a simple retaining wall, and they said that they don't do those. Seriously!!!! WTFF! Now somehow they get the gig to work on a gigantic dam project on a major river? SHEESH! How is this possible?
The reason why it is possible is nothing more than old school hillbilly politics. The company's owner is Ryan Beckley, who happens to be the board president of the Winchester Water District, which is the entity of landowners that live on their private lake who own the dam. Keep in mind that this is a private lake on a public river. How the F does this happen? What year is this? How can our lawmakers and management entities allow this to happen? Time for those responsible to pay, the management entities and lawmakers who allowed this to happen need to take some responsibility for this disaster. Time for them to step up and let the Winchester Water District know its time. It's Time to take out this fucking dam!!!
Here are a few more pics of the hillbilly shit show dam restoration project on the most iconic steelhead river on the planet: