Take Action: Goldendale

Tell Gov. Inslee and Senators Cantwell and Murray to oppose Rye Developments proposed Goldendale Pumped Storage Development. 

Rye Development wants to build the largest pumped-storage hydroelectric development in the Pacific Northwest. The Yakama Nation has vehemently opposed this development because of the proposal’s devastating impacts to irreplaceable tribal cultural religious resources.

Re: Rye Development’s proposed Goldendale Energy Storage Hydroelectric Development (Klickitat County, Washington)

Dear Governor Inslee, Senator Murray, and Senator Cantwell,

I oppose Rye Development’s proposed Goldendale Energy Storage Hydroelectric Development (Development). I urge you to oppose this development as well because of the detrimental, unavoidable impacts that it will have on tribal cultural religious resources, as explicitly expressed by the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (Yakama Nation) since 2017. Alleged “green energy” cannot be built on the backs of Tribal Nations, which are already on the front-lines of climate change and extractive industrialization and practices.

According to a cultural resources survey conducted by the Yakama Nation and included in Rye Development's License Application, the development would directly interfere with several culturally significant sites to the Yakama Nation and other cultural property. Bottom line, the survey concluded that this development cannot be built in this location without devastating impacts to cultural resources. 

I urge you to: advance Washington state’s climate goals without undermining the rights of sovereign tribal nations and Indigenous people. 

Sincerely,

Background Information:

According to a cultural resources survey conducted by the Yakama Nation and included in Rye Development's License Application, the development would directly interfere with several culturally significant sites to the Yakama Nation and other cultural property. Bottom line, the survey concluded that this development cannot be built in this location without devastating impacts to cultural resources. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) has also stated that :

The proposed Project is likely to have substantial, harmful impacts on tribal cultural resources, including sites and artifacts—potentially both those located in-water, or below the ordinary-highwater-line, and those above and beyond the shoreline. Extensive potential tribal cultural resources impacts have been documented in materials developed by the Yakama Nation (including archeological, ceremonial, burial petroglyph, monumental and ancestral use sites). The CTUIR has also determined that the Project could have significant implications for historic properties of religious and cultural significance to the CTUIR.

What's more, this Development, the Developer, and FERC itself has exhibited a total and utter disregard for and ignorance of federal law when it comes to government-to-government consultation with Tribes. A January 5, 2022 letter from the Washington State Department of Archaeological & Historic Preservation blasted both Rye and FERC for ignoring federal law, stating that a recent submission, “continues an unacceptable and knowing pattern of ignoring federal law and regulations stipulated in 36CFR800.”

Read Columbia Riverkeeper’s Q&A to learn more

The Yakama Nation has vehemently opposed this development because of the proposal’s devastating impacts to irreplaceable tribal cultural resources.

Check out Columbia Riverkeeper’s webinar

Check out Columbia Riverkeeper’s webinar with two Kah-miltpa band members: Yakama Nation Tribal Councilman Jeremy Takala and Fisheries Biologist and Hydro-Coordinator at Yakama Nation Fisheries Elaine Harvey to learn more.

About the Issue

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