BLYN (June 8, 2004) – The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has joined the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe in opposing Fred Hill Material’s proposed pit-to-pier project in Hood Canal.

The proposed project would use a 4-mile long conveyor belt to move gravel from a mining operation near Shine to a new 1,000-foot pier near Thorndyke Bay in Jefferson County. From there, the gravel would be loaded on vessels traveling in and out of Hood Canal.

“We agree with the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe that the negative effects to the environment associated with this project are much too great,” said Scott Chitwood, natural resources director for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. “Such a development would harm fragile natural resources and surrounding communities in and around Hood Canal.”

Much like the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is concerned with the potential harm to salmon migration, salmon streams, shellfish beaches, marine water quality and the risk of introducing exotic species from ballast water. An increase in Hood Canal Bridge openings and the risk of a barge colliding with the bridge – an important link to the Olympic Peninsula – also are concerns.

The potential effects of the gravel project on the environment have been made to look small because of the piecemeal approach being used to permit the project, said Chitwood. Instead of looking at the project’s overall footprint and the cumulative effects on the environment, several portions of the project are being considered separately. Segmenting the permitting process minimizes the project’s imprint on Hood Canal and the Olympic Peninsula.

“The tribe is extremely concerned with the condition of Hood Canal, and we just don’t see how a new industrial development of this size will help an area where water quality is already a problem,” Chitwood said. “We don’t think it’s wise to risk harming an important and fragile ecosystem in exchange for a few jobs.”

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For more information, contact: Scott Chitwood, natural resources director for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, (360) 681-4616, schitwood@jamestowntribe.org. Darren Friedel, information officer for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, (360) 297-6546, dfriedel@nwifc.org.