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January 03, 2003
Contact: Lee Van Tussenbrook, (360) 906-6704

Lewis River hydroelectric projects topic of Jan. 29, 2003 public meeting

VANCOUVER, Wash.– Recreation and natural resource issues raised by the proposed federal re-licensing of four hydroelectric facilities on the Lewis River will be the topic of a Jan. 29 public meeting here, hosted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The meeting is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. at WDFW regional headquarters, 2108 Grand Blvd., Vancouver.

The meeting has been scheduled to update citizens on WDFW's involvement in re-licensing settlement negotiation process and to gather public comment on issues surrounding the re-licensing including mitigation for recreation, flood control, water and land management and user fees.

Among the issues expected to be discussed are angler preferences that could influence fish management; access needs for recreation; wildlife habitat needs and recreation preferences; enforcement; and recovery and re-introduction of salmonids in the watershed.

The settlement agreement, expected to be reached this spring, is part of the re-licensing process for the Merwin, Yale, Swift and Swift Number 2 hydroelectric facilities. The Swift Number 2 project is owned by the Cowlitz Public Utility District, and the remaining three facilities are owned by PacifiCorp.