As a participant in the meetings between Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team and Capitol Lake Improvement and Protection Association, I can attest that our groups share common ground. We both want clean water, recreation opportunities, and healthy fish and wildlife populations as well as a vibrant downtown and an economically viable port and marinas.
John Dodge's recent article points out our disagreement over the fate of the dam, but it's not our only difference. The claim that the Capitol Lake Adaptive Management Plan cherry-picked its own data to reach a predetermined conclusion or that its agenda was to remove the dam is simply not true. Longtime participants in the CLAMP meetings are clear that, if anything, the bias was in favor of keeping the lake. In fact, representatives of at least one state agency were pressured to avoid even mentioning the estuary. It was the data that finally drove the conclusion that a restored estuary was the best option and not the other way around. The overwhelming evidence from peer-reviewed scientific studies flies in the face of CLIPA’s claim that Capitol Lake has a positive impact on water quality in Budd Inlet.
The DERT Board is committed to continuing conversations with CLIPA and finding as much common ground as possible in the interest of moving toward possible agreement over the fate of Capitol Lake. However, along with Pat Moynihan we believe that while everyone is entitled to their own opinions, they’re not entitled to their own facts.