I’d like to lend my experience to the recent letter to the editors supporting Dr. David Milne and his past efforts to reduce the politicizing of the Capitol Lake issue by state agency-tribal decision makers.
I worked for DNR and retired as manager of their Aquatic Lands program in 1989. I believe I have at least a reasonable degree of knowledge regarding water quality.
I attended most of the CLAMP meetings held between 2005-2009. I wish I could report that the CLAMP process was objective in trying to discern which Capitol Lake basin plan best served the environmental and community needs.
After just a few meetings it became clear to me that the CLAMP process was structured and administered to produce a recommendation that would result in removal of the Fifth Avenue dam regardless of the substantial negative consequences to the community and environment.
Two of many serious oversights of that process come to mind: The fact that Capitol Lake drastically reduces excess nitrogen from the Deschutes River waters was never mentioned. Of course, this natural process is of particular benefit to Puget Sound. The enormous benefit of using the northern lake basin as a sediment catch basin was not truthfully discussed. These benefits save the community multiple millions of dollars annually which would otherwise be lost or spent.
This community was ill-served by CLAMP. Its process and conclusions are a testimony to well-orchestrated political efforts. Good science was strategically cherry picked to mislead the public.