It’s been a busy time on the campaign to Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge!
In the weeks following the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) and the City of Cascade Locks announced plans to seek a water rights transfer, instead of an exchange, in order to grant Nestle access to our public water supply. The transfer process is quicker and, alarmingly, does not require a formal public interest review. This attempt by a state agency to intentionally circumvent an outraged public is appalling.
Please take a moment to send Governor Brown a message, requesting that she intervene and stop the transfer of public water rights to Nestle. You can also give her a call at (503) 378-4582.
On April 16 we held a massive rally on the Hawthorne Bridge during morning rush hour in response to this latest proposal. About 150 protesters demonstrated their opposition to Nestle’s plan to bottle water from the Columbia River Gorge. In case you missed it, you can check out coverage of the event on KGW, KATU, KOIN, and The Oregonian.
We’re not the only ones upset by the new water rights transfer proposal. Oregon State Representative Ann Lininger and seven members of the Oregon State Legislature sent a letter to Governor Brown and the ODFW Director Melcher expressing deep concerns about the proposal’s elimination of the public interest review requirement and about the state’s role in Nestlé’s water bottling deal. They argue that this deal would “[establish] a dangerous precedent regarding use of Oregon’s water.” This letter is proof that our hard work is paying off!
If you would like to thank Representatives Lininger, Lew Frederick, Barbara Smith Warner, Ken Helm, Phil Barnhart, Alissa Keny-Guyer, Peter Buckley, Nancy Nathanson, and Senator Michael Dembrow for signing the letter to Governor Brown, you can find their contact information on the Oregon State Legislature webpage.