TAHOLAH, Wash. (AP) — The president of the Quinault Indian Nation says the tribe has decided to reopen Lake Quinault to nontribal use under new regulations…. …read more
From: AP Washington News
TAHOLAH, WA – The Quinault Indian Nation announced today they are reopening Lake Quinault to non-tribal use, under specified regulations and restrictions. President Fawn Sharp, said that since the lake was shut down in June of last year, to address pollution, invasive species and other issues, property and business owners in the area have spoken out in support of the Tribe’s actions, saying they appreciate the work being done by Quinault to protect the lake for future generations.
In a statement by the tribe Sharp said “Safeguarding our sacred lake for our children and for all the life it sustains is one of our highest priorities. If we can achieve those objectives, and share this precious resource with our non-tribal members, that’s what we will do. We believe it is time to try.”
Their Business Committee passed the Lake Quinault 2014 Fishing, Boating and Use Regulations Monday night, which covers usage of the lake for a one year period.
The press release added that the lake, up to the Ordinary High Water Mark, is located within the boundaries of the Quinault Indian Reservation. Violators of their regulations could result in confiscation of gear, and boats, as well as enforcement under the Quinault Tribal Code in the Quinault Tribal Court at Taholah.
The Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) Business Committee is considering draft regulations which could lead to the reopening of Lake Quinault to non-tribal use this spring, according the QIN President Fawn Sharp. The lake was closed in April of 2013 due to concerns related to water pollution, invasive species, public safety and the need to protect and restore salmon habitat, particularly Blueback salmon. It was reopened, for swimming only, in time for the July 4 week end.
Representatives of the QIN met with community members on March 26 and shared draft regulations with those in attendance, including fishing and boating policies, a possible temporary moratorium on the removal of docks and a probable restriction against non-resident boats. If approved, the regulation allowing only resident boats would minimize the introduction of invasive species through transference on craft used in other bodies of water. Invasive species, ranging from milfoil to quaggua mussels, can cause severe damage to a lake environment.
Another community meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 19, in concert with Earth Day. This would be a forum, in part intended to inform and educate the public about invasive species, and other risks to the lake environment. Among others it is anticipated that there will be a presentation by an official from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Aquatic Invasive Species Unit.
“Closing the lake was not an easy decision for the Quinault Nation to make. We realize it caused difficulties for a number of people. But I’m happy to say that our relationship with the businesses and residents in the Lake Quinault area has improved and that there seems to be greater understanding about our reasons for taking the action we did. Lake Quinault is a sacred place to us, and protecting it and the fish and wildlife habitat it provides for future generations, particularly Blueback salmon, is one of our highest priorities,” said Sharp.
“As a business owner in Amanda Park on the lower Quinault River, I have regular communications with Tribal fishing guides and QIN leadership. We, the Quinault River Inn ownership and staff, acknowledge the singular importance of maintaining the health of the Lake and the river ecosystem. A healthy lake supports cultural heritage, tourism and the historic use by the Lake Quinault community. We thank the Tribe for its leadership on this issue, particularly in gathering people representative of all parts of our community. We look forward to more work together to ensure our common goal. As stated so well by the Nation, ‘Protection and restoration of natural habitats in the Lake are priority policy objectives of QIN and forms a central theme for the Nation’s environmental regulations and guidelines.’ The Quinault River Inn ownership and staff align with this priority objective,” said Peter D. Bailey of the Quinault River Inn.
A statement by lakeside property owners Joe and Leslie Wheeler said, “We want to thank and applaud the Quinault Nation for its visionary leadership in protecting Lake Quinault. The lake is a beautiful resource of the Quinault Nation that the Nation has graciously made available for use by the general public. With foresight and an eye towards future generations, the Nation is taking significant steps towards preserving and even improving the beauty that is Lake Quinault. We fully support the protective use restrictions placed on the Lake so that the Quinault Blue Back Salmon can thrive again its once vast numbers and to protect from the introduction of invasive species.”
The Quinault Nation will provide additional information as it becomes available.
Grays Harbor PUD crews are responding to multiple outages as a strong storm system crosses the coast.
Crews are working to restore power to roughly 840 customers in the Lake Quinault and Kalaloch area. There is no estimated time for restoration.
Crews are working to restore power to customers north of Axford Prairie. The outage is impacting roughly 271 customers and there is no estimated time for restoration.
The PUD will continue to provide updates throughout the night.
From: Grays Harbor PUD
UPDATE: Power has been restored to approximately 50 customers in the Lake Shore Road area of Lake Quinault, after a car v pole accident caused an early-morning outage at about 2:30 a.m.
Crews are reporting that a car accident on the South Shore Road in Quinault has resulted in a broken pole and an outage affecting approximately 50 customers in that area. Customers can expect an extended outage that may go well into mid-morning while additional crews respond to the area to make repairs.
Last Friday, we ran an incorrect story regarding a recent Lake Quinault water quality report, saying that that fecal coliform levels were too high, when in fact Total Coliform, and E. coli levels were fine by state standards. I read the report wrong, which changed the entire story, it should have read that water quality reports by the Grays Harbor County Health Department show no high levels of contamination in Lake Quinault. I apologize for the error.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Wash. – The US Forest Service is proposing the thinning of about 5,000 acres in the Queets River watershed, north of Lake Quinault.
The purpose of the project is to restore and improve late-successional habitat conditions, generate economic activity, and provide jobs in the area.
The thinning would take place in Jefferson County, on Olympic National Forest, Pacific Ranger District, Sam’s River, Matheny Creek, Queets River, and Salmon River subwatersheds in the Queets River watershed, north of Lake Quinault. The department is seeking public comment on the proposed project.
Also open for public comment is the proposed thinning of 3,300 acres in the East Fork Humptulips watershed. To view the entire list, visit fs.usda.gov