Reducing flood damage in the Chehalis Basin is urgent, and also requires serious thought and consideration in order to conserve the Basin’s rich ecosystem. The Chehalis Basin Board is preparing to consider a recommendation within the next two years about how to best protect against catastrophic flooding. The Board is examining the possibility of installing a flood protection dam, and is also exploring alternatives through the Local Actions Non-Dam Alternative project.
The Local Actions Non-Dam Alternative
LAND—short for Local Actions Non-Dam Alternative—is an effort currently underway that will develop and evaluate a comprehensive, Basin-wide flood damage reduction approach that includes alternatives to a new dam.
The LAND Steering Group leading the effort will engage with the area’s city and county planners, the local business community, technical experts from state agencies, local and tribal governments, and others. They will also build on findings from previous studies.
When considering potential dam alternatives, the LAND team will take into account long-term effectiveness in reducing flood damage, impacts on local wildlife, impacts on residents and businesses, and cost.
Based on the findings of the LAND team, proposed alternatives might include a combination of voluntary relocations, buyouts, elevations, floodproofing, and small-scale levee actions. These actions are being considered as potential dam substitutes but could also supplement protection in the Basin even if a dam does move forward.
The LAND Steering Group will develop recommendations in 2022. The members of the Steering Group are:
- Todd Chaput (Co-chair, Executive Committee), Economic Alliance of Lewis County
- Glen Connelly (Co-chair, Executive Committee), Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation
- Norm Chapman (Executive Committee), City of Centralia Planning Commission
- Jessica Helsley, Wild Salmon Center
- Tyson Johnston, Quinault Indian Nation
- Steve Malloch (Executive Committee), Western Water Futures LLC
- Dan Maughan, Maughan Family Farm
- Brandon Parsons, American Rivers
- Brian Stewart, Conservation Northwest
An independent third-party consultant will support the Steering Group in creating the proposal.
Meeting schedule and materials
The LAND Steering Group began convening in November 2021 and currently meets on a monthly basis. Additional meetings may be scheduled subject to the group’s needs and the direction of the Executive Committee and Office of Chehalis Basin. Meetings are in-person or online, depending on COVID safety precautions. For the latest meeting information, please join the LAND Steering Group mailing list (see contact information below).
Meetings currently scheduled through May 2022:
- November 10, 2021 (Kick-off Meeting): 9 am -12 pm
- December 7, 2021: 12-4 pm
- January 31, 2022: 12:30-5 pm
- February 28, 2022: 12-5 pm
- March 14, 2022: 12-5 pm
- April 19, 2022: 12-5 pm
- May 17, 2022: 12-5 pm
Final recommendations will be presented to the Chehalis Basin Board in Fall 2022.
Meeting materials: All meeting materials are posted on the LAND Steering Group shared folder via Box.
For questions, or to sign up to the mailing list for LAND Steering Group updates, please contact Cindy Bradley, email@example.com.