Reliable ProsperityPermalink +
Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 3:13 pm // Guest writer
Sandra Robson guest writes this article. She has researched and written about the problems with a coal port at Cherry Point for over a year, with 4 articles in the Whatcom Watch and now this 5th article on NWCitizen.
- - - -
Brad Owens and John Huntley are the spokespersons for Northwest Jobs Alliance (NJA), which was created to market the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project at Cherry Point, proposed by SSA Marine/Pacific International Terminal (PIT). They recently co-authored an op-ed in the Bellingham Herald headlined, "Economic prosperity, quality of environment equally important.”
While Owens and Huntley tout the supposed economic prosperity of the proposed 48 million ton coal export terminal, Lummi people, who are the original inhabitants of Washington's northernmost coast, seem to have a different view of prosperity according to their Schelangen, or Lummi way of life.
Cherry Point is home to a significant environmental resource and unique aquatic ecosystem in the Strait of Georgia. The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, aimed at protecting the health and aquatic environment of Cherry Point, is a 90-year plan that was put into place in 2000 by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
The plan states the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve’s “marine waters and aquatic lands are a portion of Treaty-protected Usual and Accustomed grounds and stations of local Native American Indians, and are used by the Indians for commercial, ceremonial, and subsistence purposes.”
The National Museum of the American Indian website, a component of the Smithsonian Institute, offers a video about Lummi Nation called, “Our Homeland", which talks about Schelangen:
“In Lummi territory, the rivers, estuaries, and ocean abound with life. This environment is home to more than 200 species of fish, 200 kinds of birds, and many species of mammals. There are vast forests of cedar and other trees, bushes, and small plants. It’s also the home to several species of salmon.”
“The Lummi developed a deep knowledge of the environment by careful observation. They were expert in biology, botany, and medicine. And most importantly, they learned how to use the resources without using them up. In the Lummi language, this way of life is called schelangen.”
In the waterways in and around Cherry Point, Lummi fishers harvest salmon, halibut, herring, crab and shellfish. An OPB EarthFix article, "Tribal Fisherman Sees Coal Threat Looming," lists some concerns Lummi Indian Business Council (LIBC) member and fisherman, Jay Julius, has about the proposed coal terminal. Julius "worries that the increased coal tanker [vessel] traffic would harm the tribe’s ability to exercise its treaty-guaranteed rights to harvest these fish and shellfish. . . One accident inside the Salish Sea and my way of life is gone." Julius added, “If the terminal is built, it could also destroy underwater archaeological sites and upland burial grounds."
If GPT is built, 487 Panamax and Capesize vessels are expected to call on the terminal, going in and out of Cherry Point every year. There are already oil tankers calling on Cherry Point for the two oil refineries and all these large vessels will be competing for space in the sensitive waters.
The herring population at Cherry Point is dwindling, declining more than 92 percent between the 1970s and 2012. According to “Big Coal meets Cherry Point’s tiny herring,” a Crosscut.com article, "Scientists believe herring make up two thirds of the diet of the federally protected Chinook salmon; the Chinook in turn provide two-thirds of the food supply for Puget Sound Orcas." Puget Sound Orca are a federally protected species by the Endangered Species Act.
In an April 3, 2014 letter to Governor Jay Inslee, the LIBC stated, “…the Lummi Nation has a treaty right to harvest salmon and shellfish in a manner sufficient to support our Schelangen (‘way of life’).” Schelangen is a right guaranteed and protected by the Treaty of Point Elliott with the U.S. government.
The LIBC wrote in its June 6, 2011 letter to the U.S. Department of Interior that, "The Lummi people have fished in the Nooksack River and the waters of northern Puget Sound since time immemorial. Article V of the Treaty of Point Elliott provides that the 'right of taking fish from usual and accustomed grounds and stations is further secured to said Indians in common with all citizens of the territory.'”
Furthermore, "The Lummi Nation retains a federal reserved Indian water right to instream flows sufficient to support their treaty fishing rights. ...Lummi also retains a federal reserved water right for consumptive uses necessary to fulfill other purposes of its reservation."
The letter goes on, "At this time, state-permitted water diversions have reduced flows in the Nooksack River and threaten the fish species that make up the Nation's treaty fishery. In addition, state sanctioned water withdrawals within the Lummi Reservation threaten the Nation's reserved water rights on the Reservation.”
Currently, SSA Marine/PIT is contracted (through 2042) with the Whatcom County PUD 1 for a capacity of up to 5.33 million gallons of Nooksack River water daily. This water will be used to spray the 2 ½ miles of 60 ft. tall coal piles to prevent the coal from spontaneously combusting, as well as to try to minimize coal dust.
According to the LIBC, in their January 15, 2013 scoping comment submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Environmental Impact Statement for GPT, “Considering the depressed nature of Nooksack River salmon stocks including the listing of early‐run Chinook salmon pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, tribal treaty rights to a sustainable, harvestable surplus of salmon, and the need for instream flows, additional withdrawals from the Nooksack River for this proposed project should not be allowed.”
The LIBC also said that the proposed GPT, and the inter‐related BNSF Custer Spur Rail Expansion projects are both within the Lummi Nation Usual and Accustomed and traditional areas, and will result in significant, unavoidable, and unacceptable interference with their treaty rights and irreversible and irretrievable damage to their spiritual values.
In January 2014, KUOW Public Radio featured a series called, “Sacred Catch,” which explored the fishing rights of Native Americans in Washington state. Lummi elder Ramona Morris gave some insight as to how salmon is the Lummi Nation’s Sacred Catch: “Salmon is sacred to us in a sense. …We’ve been known as ‘The Salmon People.’ That’s our livelihood. That’s our survival. That helps us survive."
Related Links:-> Herring graph sourced to 2005 WA Dept Fish & Wildlife report
-> Lummi Nation Litigation Request - June 7, 2011
Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 3:13 pm // Guest writerSandy Robson guest writes of the need for real prosperity at Cherry Point, not a destructive short term coal port that destroys the fishing grounds.
4 comments; last on Aug 18, 2014
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 5:30 am // Guest writerLandlords are so caught up opposing a licensing and inspection ordinance, they cannot see the upside for them in ridding the city of bad rentals.
19 comments; last on Aug 01, 2014
Paper Dreams in Fairhaven
Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 10:13 am // John ServaisThe old empty Reid Boiler Works industrial building in Fairhaven burned to the ground Saturday night.
Sun, Apr 28, 2013, 10:30 pm // John ServaisNew York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, has a masterful short article that explains why austerity is not working.
3 comments; last on May 23, 2013
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 7:39 am // Riley SweeneyRiley details upcoming merger between PeaceHealth and a much more conservative entity
1 comments; last on Feb 26, 2013
Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 6:51 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein artists have to eat, too!
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 5:53 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley looks into Ericksen's legislative efforts this session
1 comments; last on Jan 22, 2013
Mon, Dec 03, 2012, 4:26 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein citizens must hold their representatives' feet to the fire
6 comments; last on Dec 09, 2012
Thu, Nov 29, 2012, 9:23 am // Paul deArmondHoss Unplugged, November 30 will Honk the York Neighborhood's Tonk
Fri, Sep 21, 2012, 9:53 am // John ServaisBellingham Business Journal breaking story - Lummi's to hold meeting today at noon to speak against the Cherry Point project.
7 comments; last on Nov 04, 2012
Mon, Aug 20, 2012, 9:00 am // Riley SweeneyRiley sits down with Matt Petryni with Power Past Coal to get the latest scoop
Fri, Aug 17, 2012, 12:50 am // Wendy HarrisThe Mayor's Negotiations With Costco Undercuts City Permit Procedures And Public Process
4 comments; last on Aug 17, 2012
Mon, Jul 23, 2012, 7:05 pm // John ServaisWhere a planning staff desire for view corridors in the Fairhaven plan yields a view corridor that does nothing for views.
1 comments; last on Jul 25, 2012
Wed, Jan 25, 2012, 11:42 am // Riley SweeneyRiley visits the local WorkSource center and interviews the regional director
Tue, Dec 27, 2011, 1:55 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley questions Pike's timing, and Occupy's choice of tactics
2 comments; last on Dec 28, 2011
Thu, Dec 15, 2011, 2:44 pm // Riley SweeneyLocal blogger Shane Roth files ethical complaint over Crawford's sweetheart deals
3 comments; last on Dec 16, 2011
Sun, Dec 04, 2011, 6:53 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the sooty prospect of economic necessity rears its ugly head
2 comments; last on Dec 05, 2011
Wed, Nov 30, 2011, 7:51 pm // Riley SweeneyMore on the city employee moonlighting issue
Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 6:29 pm // Riley SweeneyThe Political Junkie breaks a story of employee moonlighting within city of Bellingham
7 comments; last on Nov 30, 2011
Tue, Nov 15, 2011, 11:43 am // Dick ConoboyThe Padden Trails rezone effort is a misuse of the Infill Tool Kit on the outskirts of Bellingham.
8 comments; last on Nov 16, 2011
Wed, Nov 02, 2011, 4:00 pm // Dick ConoboyOccupy Bellingham is already creating jobs for the 99% - but this raises some interesting questions.
8 comments; last on Nov 04, 2011
Mon, Oct 31, 2011, 4:07 pm // Guest writerBob Ferris of Re-Sources takes a values based perspective on our community and a possible coal port.
9 comments; last on Nov 02, 2011
Wed, Oct 19, 2011, 8:20 am // Riley SweeneyRiley continues his examination of Ericksen's anti-working people values
1 comments; last on Oct 19, 2011
Sat, Oct 08, 2011, 3:29 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley reports on the Occupy Bellingham Rally
11 comments; last on Oct 13, 2011
Thu, Sep 08, 2011, 10:37 am // Riley SweeneyLook at the title, it spells it out.
6 comments; last on Sep 12, 2011
Fri, Jul 29, 2011, 11:11 am // John ServaisThe Gateway Pacific coal port appears to be under construction now - secretly and w/o permits.
36 comments; last on Aug 05, 2011
Mon, Jul 18, 2011, 10:03 pm // Riley SweeneyThe Political Junkie interviews Christina Maginnis
4 comments; last on Jul 22, 2011
Wed, Jul 06, 2011, 1:40 am // Riley SweeneyRiley rants about the economy, and the solutions to our ills
6 comments; last on Aug 02, 2011
Mon, Jun 20, 2011, 10:45 am // Sheri WardProposed landlord licensing for Bellingham is on today's city council agenda.
10 comments; last on Jun 30, 2011
Fri, Jun 03, 2011, 12:56 pm // John ServaisA running update of links and info on the Coal Port and Trains of proposed Gateway Pacific at Cherry Point.
15 comments; last on Jun 29, 2011
Wed, Jun 01, 2011, 5:32 pm // Guest writerGuest writer Mark Flanders' call to action for June 1 flash mob at coal port meeting
7 comments; last on Jun 09, 2011
Wed, May 18, 2011, 10:31 am // Riley SweeneyPatti Brooks' war on gophers shows how she is a socialist
3 comments; last on May 28, 2011
Wed, Mar 30, 2011, 10:44 am // Guest writerElisabeth Marshall explains that Washington is one of several states looking at the advantages of a state-owned Public Bank
1 comments; last on Apr 03, 2011
Fri, Mar 25, 2011, 5:00 am // John ServaisCoal trains will probably pass Lynden on their way from Sumas to Cherry Point, after coming across on the Canadian rail roads.
16 comments; last on Aug 14, 2011
Thu, Feb 17, 2011, 7:30 pm // Guest writerGuest writer Doug Karlberg follows up with report from Tuesday's Port Commission meeting
7 comments; last on Feb 20, 2011
Mon, Feb 14, 2011, 7:35 pm // Guest writerWhy the price of moorage matters to all Whatcom County. A guest article by Doug Karlberg.
5 comments; last on Jun 30, 2011
Sat, Mar 27, 2010, 6:45 am // Craig MayberrySome questions on health care reform to our Congressional delegation.
Tue, Mar 16, 2010, 6:59 am // Riley SweeneySupporting the proposed sales tax increase for the WTA - by new writer Riley Sweeney.
3 comments; last on Mar 21, 2010
Fri, Mar 05, 2010, 12:30 pm // Craig MayberryA novel approach to government monoplies
Mon, Feb 15, 2010, 7:00 am // Craig MayberryPeople and businesses have had to make changes in what they do, when will government do the same?
1 comments; last on Mar 02, 2010
Sat, Jan 16, 2010, 7:00 am // Craig MayberryContrasts business ethics and political ethics
4 comments; last on Jan 18, 2010
Tue, Dec 15, 2009, 5:00 pm // Craig MayberryIt is always fascinating to watch the government budgeting process. With the recent reduction in revenue forecast, the Governor and other state politicians announced a severe cut in…
Thu, Oct 01, 2009, 5:20 pm // Larry HorowitzIf you are interested in saving Chuckanut Ridge, there is some glimmer of hope for preserving this ecologically-rich and environmentally-sensitive property. If you are willing to make a…
3 comments; last on Oct 04, 2009
Thu, May 21, 2009, 7:00 pm // Larry HorowitzThe Associated Press (AP) has created an interesting interactive chart measuring the economic stress by County.
According to the AP, Whatcom County has a Stress Index of 9.86 for…
1 comments; last on May 22, 2009
Wed, May 20, 2009, 1:25 pm // Larry Horowitz“At present, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product.” So says renowned entrepreneur and visionary Paul Hawken at his…
1 comments; last on May 21, 2009
Thu, May 14, 2009, 7:28 pm // g.h.kirschPaul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, asks, “What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find…
4 comments; last on May 16, 2009
Sun, Apr 05, 2009, 9:59 pm // Craig MayberryThis week a study suggested that one of the most important issues in Whatcom County is the preservation of farmland. The Whatcom County Council has talked for years…
1 comments; last on Apr 28, 2009
Sun, Mar 15, 2009, 6:25 pm // g.h.kirsch"I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers…
6 comments; last on Mar 17, 2009
Thu, Feb 12, 2009, 8:36 pm // Larry HorowitzHave you ever wondered how truly livable cities become undesirable hell holes? Do the people who run these highly attractive areas into the ground merely fail to comprehend…
2 comments; last on Feb 16, 2009
Sat, Feb 07, 2009, 11:17 am // Larry HorowitzIf you happen to find yourself in the market for an 82-acre hilly swamp wholly encumbered by critical areas like steep slopes and mature-forested Category 1 wetlands in…
Tue, Feb 03, 2009, 1:05 am // Larry HorowitzI really pity Horizon Bank’s CEO Rich Jacobson. His predecessor, Laury Evans, sure left him a bad hand to play. Not only is Mr. Jacobson faced with the…
2 comments; last on Mar 02, 2009
Fri, Jan 02, 2009, 7:23 pm // John ServaisComing to our Fairhaven waterfront - this magnificent floating drydock. The above aerial photo is of the Fairhaven Shipyard with the new drydock placed as a computer image…
1 comments; last on Jan 03, 2009
Fri, Dec 12, 2008, 12:46 am // Craig MayberryAnother day another bailout by our government. After facing fierce opposition from regular people, our federal government decided to bail out banks, now the latest effort is to…
7 comments; last on Dec 14, 2008
Fri, Oct 17, 2008, 1:20 pm // Larry HorowitzWhen it comes to planning for the future of our county and cities, must we be victims of the past or can we become masters of our own…
1 comments; last on Oct 18, 2008
Thu, Sep 11, 2008, 12:18 pm // Larry HorowitzPeople everywhere like to use labels to compartmentalize things - as well as other people. In the context of our local growth debate, we hear terms like Pro-Growth…
25 comments; last on Sep 18, 2008
Fri, Jul 04, 2008, 2:21 am // Myron WlaznakOver the past few years, I’ve written in other venues about profound impacts we can expect to our daily lives from fundamental changes in a rapidly evolving world.…
2 comments; last on Jul 23, 2008
Sat, Jun 28, 2008, 9:11 am // Larry HorowitzOn March 26, 2002, the US Patent Office issued Patent No. 6,362,718 B1, potentially altering the entire paradigm in our quest for the holy grail of unlimited clean…
11 comments; last on Jul 23, 2008
Fri, Apr 04, 2008, 11:07 pm // Craig MayberryIronically, on April Fools Day Congress held hearings with the oil and gas industry over profits and government subsidies. The reported bantering between politicians and oil executives missed…
8 comments; last on Apr 16, 2008
Sun, Mar 16, 2008, 8:19 pm // John ServaisOn this supposedly quiet Sunday afternoon in Bellingham, the world beyond us is in severe turmoil. Some of the world's biggest bankers are in frantic meetings in New…
Wed, Feb 27, 2008, 2:10 pm // Craig MayberryIt looks like another legislative session and another missed opportunity to deal with transportation problems in the state, especially around Seattle. Both political parties seem to ignore some…
1 comments; last on Feb 27, 2008
Election InfoCandidate Filings
Primary election results
Coal, Oil & TrainsCommunity Wise Bellingham
Powder River Basin R. C.
Local Blogs & NewsBellingham Herald
Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
League of Women Voters
Western Front - WWU
Local CausesChuckanut Community Forest
City Club of Bellingham
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
WA Conservation Voters
Port of Bellingham
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Weather & ClimateCliff Mass Weather Blog
Nat Hurricane Center
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate
Edge of Sports
Famous Internet Skiers
Good Web SitesAl-Jazeera online
Foreign Policy in Focus
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Middle East Times
New American Century
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Project Vote Smart
Stand for the Troops
Talking Points Memo
The Crisis Papers
War and Piece
NwCitizen 1995 - 2007Early Northwest Citizen
Quiet, Offline or DeadBellingham Police Activity
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
Facebook Port Reform
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph