A decision is near on the first Nestlé court challenge

Initially posted on bark-out.org on 12/12/2013

The proposed Nestlé water exchange by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has been tied up in court for many months, thanks to a legal challenge initiated by Bark and Food & Water Watch, with representation by Crag Law Center. We received the draft decision on this first legal challenge earlier this week. Unfortunately, it is not in our favor.
What happened?

On December 10, 2013, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued a proposed order that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) should not lose any portion of its water right at Oxbow Springs Hatchery. In doing so, the judge ruled against Bark and Food & Water Watch, who had challenged the ODFW’s use of its water right at Oxbow Springs. We allege that the agency is not using the full amount of its water right and is therefore subject to losing it under a ‘use it or lose it’ component of Oregon Water Law.

Why are we challenging the hatchery’s water right?

The water right in question is the spring water that would be transferred to the City of Cascade Locks with its final destination being plastic water bottles at the proposed Nestlé bottling plant in Cascade Locks. If ODFW can’t use it, then they cannot trade it to Cascade Locks.

Challenging ODWF’s water use is just one small step in a set of many legal actions we are prepared to take in order to prevent the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife from facilitating a water transfer that would allow for the infamously bad actor Nestlé to profit from an Oregon public water resource. The judge’s proposed order is essentially a draft decision and the final order will come from the Water Resources Department Director following several procedural steps.

When will the final decision be made?

Following the proposed order, we have 30 days to file exceptions to the ruling. Exceptions are legal or factual arguments to illustrate errors in the proposed order. The court or any other parties involved in the case have 10 days to respond to our exceptions before the Director issues the final order. We therefore expect a final order to be issued in January or February of 2014. If the Director’s final order is substantially the same as the proposed order, we may decide to appeal this decision.

Can Nestlé start bottling spring water after the final order is decided?
The short answer: no.

The long answer: The legal challenge to the ODFW’s water right is the first part of a long series of legal steps that we are committed to take to ensure that Nestlé never gets Mt. Hood spring water into plastic bottles. After this first step has concluded, there are still two more permitting decisions we can challenge. The first permit is the ODFW’s Water Transfer application, which the Water Resources Department approved back in February of 2012, but which has not proceeded. If and when this case is resolved, the Water Resources Department can issue a decision on the ODFW’s last necessary permit, its Water Exchange application. This permit would actually create a swap of water rights from the state of Oregon to the city of Cascade Locks, in order to be sold to Nestlé.

We intend to challenge all decisions as necessary to stop this proposal, and will continue to pressure the Governor as well as our state agencies that can put an end to Nestlé’s proposal.

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December 16, 2013 · 8:04 pm

The Time is NOW to Stop Nestlé in Oregon

The pressure is on and the time is NOW.
We can stop Nestlé Waters from locating here in Oregon.

The battle to keep Nestlé out of the Gorge is at a turning point. We have known from the beginning of this fight—four long years ago—that there is no good reason for Oregon to hand over public water to one of the world’s most disreputable corporations, but now the state knows it too.

Oregonians have consistently pressured Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)—the state agency that would facilitate a Nestlé bottling plant—to withdraw its permits, and our pressure is working! ODFW is feeling the heat, but needs to know right now that we will never back down.  Contact ODFW now!

Unless ODFW withdraws its permits, next week they will begin costly legal proceedings, using taxpayer money to defend its role in helping Nestlé commodify Oregon’s public water. ODFW Director Roy Elicker can save the state of Oregon time, money and face if he pulls ODFW’s water exchange permit. It is urgent that Mr. Elicker hear from his superiors on the ODFW Commission that there is nothing the state can gain from this water exchange but there is a lot for it to lose. The more he hears from his commission, along with the voices of Oregonians, the more likely he is to stop the Nestlé project in its tracks. Contact ODFW now and urge them to take this last, easy way out.

A minute of your time could deal the final blow against Nestlé. Take action now!

Background:
Bark and Food & Water Watch, with representation from Crag Law Center, filed a protest against ODFW’s Water Transfer permits over a year ago after the Oregon Water Resources Department approved the permits in February of 2012. Meanwhile, the Keep Nestlé out of the Gorge Coalition ramped up the pressure against the state decision-makers responsible for this unprecedented proposal. Hundreds rallied in downtown Portland, participated in an amazing aerial photo shoot, and sent thousands of letters and phone calls to Governor Kitzhaber and ODFW.

If ODFW does not pull out of this process, legal proceedings could extend well into 2015. Visit Bark’s website for more information on this issue and Bark and Food & Waterwatch’s legal challenge to stop this outrageous plan.

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July 8, 2013 · 4:20 pm

Stand Against Nestle Day-of-Action a success!

No Nestle People

On the afternoon of Friday, February 8th nearly 200 Oregonians put on their finest red clothing and joined Bark and the Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge Coalition in Lower MacLeay Park to take a stand against Nestlé’s grab at public water resources in the Columbia River Gorge. After laying giant letters across the soggy grass to spell the word ‘Nestlé,’ the crowd came together to create a red circle around it. Then a line of people situated themselves across the circle, creating a clear message: “No Nestle!” Photographers were stationed on the bridge above the park to capture the image of this one of a kind, 60 foot diameter anti-Nestlé symbol.

The state of Oregon is responsible for processing the permits Nestlé needs to establish its proposed bottling plant in the Columbia River Gorge. Friday’s community action serves as a powerful message to state decision makers that the public is NOT in support of giving public water from Mt. Hood to Nestlé. Plus, we had a blast, and took some really amazing photos!

In addition to this ‘aerial art mob’ action in the park, Friday’s Day of KNOG group on the bridgeAction also saw dozens brave the morning cold to hold signs along the Hawthorne Bridge and raise awareness among morning commuters. And hundreds of you sent messages to your legislators and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to explain your opposition to Nestlé’s  proposal. If you missed the fun on Friday, you can still take action here.

Thank you to the Portland Raging Grannies for providing us with musical entertainment, Kelli Pennington for her photography, and everyone who helped out by spreading the word, calling the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, holding signs on the bridge, bringing red clothing to share, or just taking the time out of your busy day to show up! You rock!

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Call ODFW to Keep Nestle Out of the Gorge

Can’t make it to the Aerial Art Mob today at noon?

Make A Quick Phone Call to Stop Nestlé from Taking Our Water
Make the Call Now: 866-942-5138

Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge!

Call ODFW:
866-942-5138

One state agency can keep Nestlé from potentially bottling and selling our water but up until now, it has shut out Oregonians’ voices. Enough is enough.

Please call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) at 866-942-5138 right now and demand that it protects Oregon’s water from Nestlé?

Making the call is easy: simply dial 866-942-5138 to hear a short message from Food and Water Watch. Then, you will be connected to the ODFW main desk and you can share your version of the following message:

“As an Oregonian, I am very troubled by the lack of public comment you have attempted to seek on the Nestlé issue. I am deeply opposed to the water exchange that could allow Nestlé to bottle and sell our state’s water and I urge you to stop the water exchange process today.”

We know that ODFW has the power to keep Nestlé’s out of Oregon. We have been asking the agency to put the issue up for public discussion, but rather than hear from us, ODFW has canceled the past two opportunities for the public to weigh in. Will you join hundreds of Oregonians in calling ODFW at 866-942-5138 today to tell the agency to say no to the Nestlé water exchange?

Make the call to protect your water from Nestlé today: 866-942-5138

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Stand Up Against Nestle- Day of Action

Friday, February 8th at 12pm

Lower Macleay Park at 29th and Upshur St

We’re taking a stand against Nestlé’s water bottling proposal for the Columbia River Gorge on February 8th in Portland! Join us for a day of action and Aerial Art Mob against Nestlé!

Bark Hike April 2012Create human-powered aerial art to send the message to the Governor and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) to say ‘No’ to a Nestlé water bottling plant in the Columbia Gorge!

Call on your state agency, ODFW, to stop cutting the public out of its controversial decision to pursue a water exchange that would let Nestlé bottle public water!

Have fun with fellow concerned Oregonians who want to keep a Nestlé bottling plant out of Oregon!

Morning rush hour bridge action: 7:30 until 9:00am we will hold signs on the east side of the Hawthorne Bridge (at SE Madison and Grande Ave). Drop by, grab a sign, and help spread the word. Signs and donuts provided!

Then join us for an Aerial Art Mob at noon, at the Lower MacCleay Park (NW Upshur and NW 29th):

Take an hour of your day to help create some amazing aerial artwork, get updated on the campaign to keep Nestlé out of the Gorge, and call ODFW to demand they stop doing Nestlé’s bidding. We will arrange ourselves into a huge ‘No Nestlé’ symbol (that’s why we need you to wear red!) and take photos from above to help spread the word about this crucial issue.

For the noon action: come dressed in red – it will help make the image powerful! Bring an extra red shirt(s) if you can in case we need them.

Carpools can be arranged if necessary. For more information email or call jdegraw(at)fwwatch.org or 971-266-4528.

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UPDATE: Tell ODFW: Let us speak

URGENT UPDATE: In a rare move the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is blocking the public’s voice in its upcoming Commission meeting in Portland.

After learning that anti-Nestlé activists planned to testify at the December 7th Commission Meeting in opposition to the ODFW’s involvement with Nestlé, the Commission decided last week to bar us from speaking by canceling the public forum on the meeting agenda. We will not let them silence us! Take action today. Help us ensure that the Nestlé Water Bottling Plant is included in the ODFW Commission’s February meeting agenda and plan to join us in February 8th to hold ODFW accountable for its role in the Nestlé proposal.

Go to www.bark-out.org and click on “Anti-Nestlé activists blocked from meeting” to learn more and take action.You should also call the ODFW Commission to express your disappointment and to demand they put us on the agenda for their February meeting: it’s high time they listened to us (dial ’0’ to talk to a person):

Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

Facebook Event Page

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CANCELED Tell ODFW: Don’t take Nestlé’s bait!

Canceled Event

Join us at the ODFW Commission Meeting
Tell them “Don’t take Nestlé’s bait.”

Friday December 7th, 7:30am-9am

Airport Holiday Inn
8439 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland

Nestlé is trying to bait the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) into “exchanging” publicly owned water (our water) so that Nestlé can bottle it and make millions.

KNOG Rally Banner June 26, 2012

The ODFW Commission is the boss of the agency’s director Roy Elicker, and can stop Nestlé by simply withdrawing the permits that would allow Nestlé to profit off of public water.

Join us to stand in solidarity as individuals testify to the Commission with this message: Nestlé Waters is NOT welcome in our state and ODFW should NOT get into the bottled water industry.

Bark will provide coffee and donuts and is organizing a carpool. RSVP at this link for more info or to help!

Spread the word on Facebook!

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