From the press release:
The Squaxin Island Tribe is appealing to Gov. Chris Gregoire the decision by the state Department of Ecology to reject a petition to protect Johns Creek. ”Ecology’s inaction does further harm to our treaty-based fisheries,” said Andy Whitener, natural resources director for the Tribe. “Salmon recovery should not have to bear a disproportionate share of the fallout from tough economic times.”
This is the second time in two years that Ecology has rejected the Tribe’s request to protect Johns Creek, citing the need for study on the connection between ground and surface water in the Johns Creek watershed. The Tribe’s petitions were based on a state law that closes a watershed to new well drilling activity if not enough information exists to establish that water is legally available.
If the Gov. Gregoire is serious about protecting the waters of Puget Sound, then she will direct Ecology to act. “Ecology’s excuse is the lack of resources. It takes a commitment to their responsibilities, not money, to close the basin,” said Kevin Lyon, the Tribe’s attorney. “The rule is simple: if you lack information, you don’t take water – especially when minimum flows are not being met.