New Hydro

Stand in Solidarity with Tribal Nations: A pumped-storage hydroelectric development threatens irreplaceable tribal cultural resources, fish, and wildlife

Rye Development, backed by the Danish Company Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), plans to build the largest pumped-storage hydroelectric development in the Pacific Northwest. The problem? The excavation of two massive 60-acre reservoirs and appertenute infrastructure in the area will irreparably destroy tribal cultural and religious resources, threaten avian and terrestrial wildlife, and impact wetlands, streams, and groundwater. Learn more about the proposed development from Riverkeeper’s Q&A.

Take Action

Stand in solidarity with tribal nations who oppose this hydroelectric development. 

 

​​Project Status Update

State Permitting Process
Bitterroot
Bitterroot, Steider Studios

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has initiated the state environmental review process for the Goldendale Pumped Storage Development. Ecology has determined that the Development may lead to significant adverse impacts on the environment and is requiring an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS is scheduled for completion in 2022. In June 2021, Ecology denied a key permit for the Development because Rye failed to provide the necessary information on major project impacts, including wetlands and streams, groundwater, and contaminated soils. Without a Clean Water Act 401 Certification the Project cannot proceed. 

Read more:
Federal Permitting Process

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has also begun the federal environmental review process and requested scoping comments to determine what to include in it’s environmental review and what level of environmental review to conduct. Read comments from Riverkeeper and Tribal Nation, urging FERC to conduct an in-depth environment review that addresses the Project’s wide-ranging impacts to cultural resources, environmental justice, and natural resources. As part of the application process FERC has issued four subsequent letters requesting Rye to provide more information on the Development, so far the developer’s responses have been deficient. 

Read more:
Kboo Interview

 Interview with Elaine Harvey, a Kah-miltpa band member who works for Yakama Nation Fisheries, and Simone Anter, staff attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper, about why they believe this pumped-storage hydroelectric development threatens irreplaceable tribal cultural resources, fish, and wildlife. Interview with Elaine Harvey, a member of the Rock Creek Band who works for Yakama Nation Fisheries, and Simone Anter, staff attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper, about why they believe this pumped-storage hydroelectric development threatens irreplaceable tribal cultural resources, fish, and wildlife.

Debate on Tribal Rights Heats Up

Hear from two Kah-miltpa band members, including Yakama Nation Tribal Councilman Jeremy Takala and Fisheries Biologist and Hydro-Coordinator at Yakama Nation Fisheries Elaine Harvey on how this proposed development threatens to destroy tribal cultural resources for a speculative energy return.

 
Member Spotlight: Carmen Selam + Artwork for Goldendale Campaign
Carmen Selam
Carmen Selam

As the Goldendale Pumped Storage Development continues seeking license approval to begin construction, Carmen Selam, a multidisciplinary artist, born and raised on the Yakama Nation Reservation, highlights important cultural and religious resources that would be destroyed by this development. 

Words by Carmen Selam:
Elaine Harvey
Elaine Harvey Kah-milt-pa Band Member and Traditional Food Gatherer (Art credit: Carmen Selam)

"My art is a reflection of living in contemporary society as a queer Yakama-Comanche woman. I am a multi-disciplinary artist working in printmaking, painting, and clay in addition to being a traditional tribal artist in the fields of weaving and beadwork. My work explores the relationships between living on and off of the reservation and how these relations influence my way of life. I tend to use iconography and popular culture as a tool to delve deeper into the untold indigenous history of America.

Bronsco Jim Jr Kah-milt-pa Chief
Bronsco Jim Jr Kah-milt-pa Chief  (Art credit: Carmen Selam)

I was born and raised on the Yakama Reservation located in Washington State. I am an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation and am also of Comanche descent. I attended the Oregon College of Art and Craft located in Portland, Oregon prior to graduating with my BFA in studio arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Currently pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts with a focus in Studio Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts.  My work has shown at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe Community College Visual Arts Gallery, Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery, Portland State University Native Center, Oregon College of Art and Craft and the Yakama Nation Heritage Center. I am in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. I currently live and work in Wapato, Washington."

Artwork creation timelapse video: 

 

Art by Carmen Selam
Desert Parsley, by Carmen Selam
Desert Parsley
Yarrow, by Carmen Selam
Yarrow
Golden Eagle, by Carmen Selam
Golden Eagle
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