OLYMPIA — Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, wants the state to look into removing the Ballard Locks and Seattle City Light dams on the Skagit River, and restoring Seattle lakes and waterways to a pristine natural condition.
Ericksen has drafted legislation for introduction in the 2020 legislative session that he says could return Seattle to the natural paradise that existed before settlers arrived 168 years ago.
“Most of the support for breaching the Snake River dams seems to come from Seattle,” Ericksen said. “But if its citizens understood the environmental damage caused by big water projects right in their home town, I am sure they would want to lead by example.”
It’s the Ferndale Republican’s tongue-in-cheek attempt to make what is imposed on eastern Washington also apply to citified western Washington.
A press release from Ericksen notes that his proposal mirrors the $750,000 state study of breaching the Snake River dams approved by this year’s Legislature. That idea has been repeatedly studied and rejected by federal authorities, because of its limited environmental benefit and the economic hardship it would wreak on Eastern Washington, he says. But Democratic lawmakers from the urban Puget Sound area are hopeful Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration can devise a study that will reach a different conclusion, he says.