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Skykomish Dam...is this new?


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Interestingly there is another inflatable Dam hydroproject on the South Fork Snoqualmie that no one gripes too much about and it works great.


probably because it's not in the middle of the most scenic area on highway 2.


Massively scenic. No doubt about it.


There are already large concrete structures at the powerhouse site as part of the fish traps, no great loss there.


The penstock would be a tunnel.


Which pretty much leaves only the diversion structure to agonize about with respect to scenic impact...for those who can get within viewing distance...


Coming up on a rainy weekend, here's a little challenge course for you:

Drive on up and see if you can get within viewing distance of the dam site, penstock site, or powerhouse location without passing a "Private Property", "Keep Out, No Trespassing", or "Private Road, No Public River Access" sign.

Perhaps such an expedition will better prepare you for a discussion on scenic impacts.


Beyond that, I'm not blindly in favor of the thing; there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. What bothers me right at the moment is that the vibe I'm getting a lot of is "Eek, a hydro project! They must be stopped!" when I think there needs to be an objective look at potential benefits and problems and an honest effort to see to what extent the problems can be addressed and mitigated to an acceptable level. I honestly believe that when you consider the alternatives hydro power comes out looking pretty good.

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Is it de-watering Sunset falls? If it is I'm against it.


Agree though that hydroelectric is one of the better and least impact alternatives to power generation.


the other alternatives are increasing efficiency like LED home lighting, and population control.

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the small hydro projects like the young creek hydro station near sultan is a great way to generate power with minimal enviro impact.


Our PUD is a very enviro conscious utility. A knee jerk reaction to any of their projects is a sign of ignorance. We should look at the plans carefully before coming to a conclusion. (I haven't seen anything about it)


I think a bigger concern is the huge amount of coal ladden train traffic coming through the valley (and right by LTW index) on their way to china.

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Is it de-watering Sunset falls? If it is I'm against it.



In that case, me too.


However The PUD FAQ on the project on their website states that flows would be maintained and that in periods of low river flow no water would be diverted at all. They give a design capacity of 2,500 cfs for the penstock. I don't have flow information for the South Fork at hand but I'm going to seek it out.


To me that's one of the big nuts of the issue. If one can divert enough to make the project pay and leave a reasonable natural flow then I'd be pretty positive about the whole thing. Of course, one could argue til eternity about what constitutes "reasonable natural flow".


There's a bunch of question and answer info on the proposal here at





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