Letter from Chehalis River Alliance to the Office of the Chehalis Basin regarding public input on flood damage reduction
Conservation Northwest / Nov 18, 2020 / Cascades to Olympics
While we are grateful for the opportunity to provide input during public meetings, we have some suggestions about how to increase public participation moving forward.
The following is a letter from the Chehalis River Alliance to the Office of the Chehalis Basin regarding the process for gathering public input on the reducing flood damage in the Chehalis Basin. Conservation Northwest’s organizational comments on the proposed Chehalis Dam under the federal Draft Environmental Impact Statement can be viewed here.
Nov 18th, 2020 – VIEW ELECTRONIC COPY (PDF)
To: The Office of the Chehalis Basin
RE: Gathering public input regarding the reduction of flood damage
Many members of the Chehalis River Alliance attended the November 10th public meeting that was held to solicit the public’s input on reducing flood damage. While we were grateful for the opportunity to provide input, we have some suggestions about how to increase participation in the next two meetings.
Please consider that not all residents of the Basin have internet, and many were unaware of the November 10th meeting. To help increase participation in the next meetings, we suggest that you send written letters to people who experienced flood damage in 2007. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) likely has addresses of these people. Another option would be to solicit the help of county public utility districts to send informational mailers out with their newsletters.
Another way to get the word out to future attendees is to put up posters in rural areas. If it would help – we know of bulletin board areas in some areas. Many rural residents rely on information that they see posted in this manner.
We suggest that you advertise these meetings in advance in the Aberdeen Daily World and the Centralia Chronicle, as far in advance as possible.
Public service announcements on local radio stations is a good way to reach rural residents. We suggest contacting KXRO in Centralia.
Finally, please let the public know when the second two meetings will be held as far in advance as possible. There is some concern that the last meeting was not advertised for long enough in advance to engage community members. It would be very helpful if as many residents of flood-prone areas could be notified in advance via the U.S. Postal Service.
The Alliance is willing and ready to help get the word out, we can help with flyers and posting relevant information on local community social media pages, as well as engaging our local contacts.
We hope you will consider our suggestions and we thank you for your time.
The Chehalis River Alliance