The Wenatchee World



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Group plans to sue over Buckhorn Mine water quality

CHESAW — Despite efforts to work closely over the last five years, the company extracting gold from the Buckhorn Mine near Chesaw and an environmental group that monitors it are likely headed to court, representatives from both groups say. David Kliegman, executive director of the Okanogan Highlands Alliance, said the Buckhorn Mine has failed to establish a working system to collect groundwater, and continues to discharge pollutants that exceed water quality limits.

Open houses set for Columbia River Treaty

WENATCHEE — Officials from the Bonneville Power Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be in Wenatchee and Coulee Dam this week to host open houses about the Columbia River Treaty. In Wenatchee, the event will be on Tuesday at the Wenatchee Community Center Veterans Hall, 504 S. Chelan Ave. In Coulee Dam, it will include a special session on recreation, and will happen Thursday at City Hall, 300 Lincoln Ave. Both events are from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Company prepares for major Holden Mine cleanup

HOLDEN VILLAGE — The big $100 million push to clean up Holden Mine is ramping up. Residents may have already noticed a few rumblings of work to accommodate a barge at the Lake Chelan Boat Company in Chelan, and at uplake at Lucerne.

Ecology offers new water rights — for a fee

WENATCHEE — The state Department of Ecology is offering a new fee-based program to speed up the water rights application process, and the Wenatchee Basin will be the first to try it out. Some 150 water right applicants will get letters inviting them to help hire a consultant who can sort through applications so that water for new applicants can become available. Applicants can then reimburse Ecology for hiring the state-approved contractor to process pending applications.

Yakamas developing long-term plan for Wenatchee River coho

LAKE WENATCHEE — After working for the last decade to restore a coho run in the upper Wenatchee River, the Yakama tribe is now embarking on a long-term plan for this late-season spawner. The tribe last month closed a deal to buy 155 acres about a mile south of Lake Wenatchee, where it hopes to eventually build a small coho incubation facility and rehabilitate a dry side channel for juvenile fish.

Groups say state ignored Clean Water standards when certifying Enloe Dam

OROVILLE — Five environmental groups say the state Department of Ecology failed to consider key elements of state environmental standards when it certified a proposal to rebuild Enloe Dam near Oroville last month. The five groups — American Whitewater, Sierra Club’s Washington chapter, the North Cascades Conservation Council, the Center for Environmental Law & Policy, and the Columbia River Bioregional Education Project — filed an appeal this month with the state Pollution Control Hearings Board, questioning Ecology’s water quality certification.

Enloe Dam project criticized by environmentalists

OROVILLE, Wash. (AP) — Five environmental groups say the state Department of Ecology didn't consider water quality standards when when it approved plans to rebuild Enloe Dam near Oroville. The Wenatchee World ( ) reports the five groups have filed an appeal with the state Pollution Control Hearings Board.

State slaps Chesaw’s Buckhorn mine with $395,000 fine

CHESAW — The state has fined the company that owns and operates the Buckhorn Mine near Chesaw $395,000 for repeated and continuing water-quality violations. The major violations by Crown Resources Corp., a subsidiary of Toronto-based Kinross Gold Corp., occurred last year and this year during spring runoff, when the company failed to capture all the water from rain and snowmelt to treat, according to the state Department of Ecology.

Judge rules Chelan lakefront property must go

CHELAN — A Chelan County judge on Wednesday agreed to order the removal three man-made peninsulas created nearly 50 years ago in a bay on Lake Chelan’s south shore. Superior Court Judge Lesley Allan found that the 6.12-acre undeveloped property owned by GBI Holding Co. impairs the public’s right to use the bay, and benefits only the owners of the property.

Truck hauling mine’s wastewater spills 4,200 gallons

CHESAW — A truck carrying concentrated wastewater from the Buckhorn Mine crashed Tuesday and spilled about 4,200 gallons into Marias Creek. The spill does not pose a threat to human health, said Mark Ioli, the mine’s general manager.

Snowpack shoots up

WENATCHEE — Several January storms that dumped snow in the mountains above North Central Washington helped bring the region back to a near-average snowpack, after a December with only half of the snowpack of a normal year. But another string of clear, dry days could bring us right back to a poor snow year, says Scott Pattee, water supply specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Pateros is first to receive Lake Roosevelt water

PATEROS — After waiting nearly 30 years, Pateros can allow new housing developments or annexations after receiving a new water right from the state Department of Ecology on Tuesday. It is the first to receive a new right from the drawdown of Lake Roosevelt, and will be followed by about a dozen other new water right permits this month, and dozens more next year, the agency announced.

Feds to explain chinook proposal

OMAK — The federal agency charged with protecting endangered fish on Monday will explain a proposal to introduce spring chinook into the Okanogan River. Spring chinook once lived the Okanogan River and its tributaries, but became extinct there in the 1930s.

Coho counts are jumping

WENATCHEE — Fishermen looking to reel in a steelhead or fall chinook this month may have gotten a surprise on the end of their line, and one they’re allowed to keep — the coho. Just 15 years after the Yakama Nation started mass-producing coho in hatcheries and releasing them from ponds along the Wenatchee and Methow rivers, more of the late-spawning salmon are in our rivers and streams than we’ve seen in at least 78 years.

Local watersheds win grants

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Ecology has awarded $3.5 million to 20 jurisdictions to implement parts of their watershed plans over the next two years. Grants in North Central Washington include $198,000 for the Methow River watershed; $90,000 for the Wenatchee River watershed; $50,000 for the Lake Chelan watershed; $30,000 for the Entiat River watershed; $30,000 for the Moses Coulee/Foster watershed; $25,000 for the Squilchuck/Stemilt watershed.

Colville Tribes turning to traditional fishing methods

BRIDGEPORT — The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are turning to traditional fishing methods to catch some of the tens of thousands of salmon expected to return to the upper Columbia River once Chief Joseph Hatchery is up and running.

Forest Service roads take big hit; more damage expected

WENATCHEE — The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest says it probably won’t be able to fix more than $3.75 million in damages to its 8,000-mile road system this summer. The agency fears that the dozens of mud-covered debris-ridden roads assessed is just the beginning.