9-2016 Update

Dear Sky Valley Residents,

  • SVENA stands for Skykomish Valley Environmental & Economic Alliance. Our
    SVENA logo

    Logo of SVENA

    mission is to protect an environmentally and economically sustainable future of the Skykomish River Valley. We are working towards a safer, cleaner, healthier and more beautiful place to live, work and visit. Skykomish Valley is a part of the famous Cascade Loop with Hwy 2 as the National Scenic Byway. Skykomish River is legally protected as the National Wild Scenic River. With 175 thousand visitors annually to one of the busiest in Washington State, Wallace Falls State Park, 350 thousand visitors to Stevens Pass Ski Resort, and 4.2 million cars passing through the Valley, local tourism and recreation industries have a big potential and are rapidly growing.

At present, we are working on the following:

> Promotion of tourism and recreation that bring money and jobs to the Valley, and lobbying for development of advanced supporting infrastructure including large-capacity highways;

> Improvement of industrial tree farming practices (such as massive clearcut logging and  toxic herbicide spraying that follows logging) for many industrial tree farms of the Skykomish River Valley that can be harmful to public health and safety, water quality, local tourism, recreation and other businesses, and environment;

> Improvement of water quality and quantity that is important to everyone in the Valley Water and catunless you are hooked to an alpine-lake water line;

> Distribution of information and updates to the local community about tree farming practices, community preparedness for toxic railroad spills and other toxic railroad pollution such as creosote.

Some of the current projects include finding alternatives to clearcut logging next to, and expansion of Wallace Falls State Park (aesthetic values are important for the tourism industry and the park), widening and other improvements for Hwy 2 and Hwy 522, reduction of toxic pesticide spraying – a threat to public and environmental health and water quality.

We support local school districts by increasing the value of local private properties and the volume of business in the Valley. In the future, we hope to work with the government, businesses and non-profits on revision of the school funding system, and creation of more sustainable ways to support education in Washington State, that does not harm other industries, such as tourism.

Because SVENA is not a registered 501(c)(3) organization seeking tax-exempt status, we are able to provide endorsements. SVENA is not affiliated with any political party, and supports election candidates, organizations and businesses with the same or similar goals and missions.

Please find more information at SVENA website.

  • WA STATE ELECTIONS, NOVEMBER 2016: If you care about your family, home and the Valley, we encourage you to register and vote. This year is a special one because, in November,  voters of WA State are going to elect the Commissioner of Public Lands for a four-year term. The Commissioner of Public Lands has the sole mission of managing millions of acres for the shared benefit of everyone in Washington State and protecting our air, water, and open spaces as part of Washington State’s legacy.
  • After considering many factors, and after numerous and thoughtful deliberations, SVENA is endorsing Hilary Franz for a position of the Washington State

    Hilary Franz with her family on her farm, Bainbridge Island WA

    Commissioner of Public Lands. Please see the candidate’s website for more details of her campaign. During her tenure as Executive Director of Futurewise, she has helped protect 2,800 acres of prime farmland and over 5,000 miles of critical shoreline along Washington’s coast. Hilary Franz has spent nearly two decades working on public land and natural resource issues promoting sustainable management and rural economic development. She has also committed not to accept money from timber, coal, or any other industry the Commissioner of Public Lands regulates.

  • In stark contrast, her opponent Steve McLaughlin has taken thousands of dollars from timber and logging companies (already over 30% of his total donations) and has advocated for more timber harvest. In addition, he had a career completely unrelated to public lands and has no experience working on natural resource issues.

  • TOXIC AERIAL HERBICIDE SPRAYING is a standard practice for timber companies that follows clearcut logging. It is used to kill unwanted vegetation on industrial tree farms. It is cheaper and used more often than other alternative methods (cutting competing vegetation manually or mechanically, “spot-spraying” a smaller amount of selected plants on the ground, and other methods). For more info about standard tree farming Spraying pagepractices, please see Forest Practices Illustrated.
  • Weyerhaeuser Corporation executed a toxic aerial herbicide spray on 830 acres in the Gold Bar in Skykomish areas in mid September 2016. On October 2-3, 2016, Springboard Wallace Falls LLC (a part of Campbell Global) executed a toxic aerial herbicide spray on 175 acres in Gold Bar and Sultan areas. More info is on Chemical Spraying page.
  • If you believe you were accidentally exposed to a toxic herbicide drift in air and/or water caused by aerial herbicide spraying in September 2016 by Weyerhaeuser, and in October 2016 by Campbell Global in the Gold Bar, Sultan and Skykomish areas, please report your incident and symptoms to:

Neil Lanning, WA Dep. of Ag. nlanning@agr.wa.gov 360-688-0103,
Jennifer Sievert, WA Dep. of Health jennifer.sievert@doh.wa.gov 360-236-3338,
Senator Kirk Pearson kirk.pearson@leg.wa.gov.

Fact Sheet, Most Probable Active Ingredients vs. Human Health Effects (September-October 2016, Skykomish River Valley, herbicide sprays)

Please find some useful information in What to do before, during and after toxic aerial spray.

SVENA communications with the Snohomish County Executive, toxic herbicide spraying 9-2016

SVENA communications with Senator Kirk Pearson, Chair of the WA Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee, toxic herbicide spraying 9-2016

SVENA communications with  the state and county elected officials, toxic herbicide spraying 9-2016

SVENA communications with Weyerhaeuser Corporation, toxic herbicide spraying 9-2016

  • Research and monitoring shows that pesticides drift and contaminate surface and ground water following aerial and ground forestry applications. Some of the active ingredients include toxic substances such as Glyphosate (one common brand name containing Glyphosate is Roundup), Imazapyr, Metsulfuron methyl and Sulfometuron methyl.

Some irreversible health effects for humans include reduced production of sex hormones, damage to human cells particularly in fetuses, miscarriages, attention deficit disorder, increased risks of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer, irritation to eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. More information is at Fact Sheet for Active Ingredients and Pesticide Properties DataBase, University of Hertfordshire, UK.

WDOE (WA State Department of Ecology) Study EFFECTIVENESS OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR AERIAL APPLICATION OF FOREST PESTICIDES, concluded that all seven creeks were polluted with the aerially-sprayed toxic chemicals.

Timberland Herbicide Spraying Sickens a Community, article in High Country News Tap water with fauset(Oregon) 10-4-2014


Chapter 35.88 RCW “Water Pollution—Protection From”

RCW 35.88.040 Pollution as criminal nuisance—Punishment:

Any person who does, establishes, maintains, or creates any of the things which have the effect of polluting any such sources of water supply, or water, and any person who does any of the things in RCW 35.88.030 declared to be unlawful, shall be deemed guilty of creating and maintaining a nuisance, and may be prosecuted therefor, and upon conviction thereof may be fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars.

RCW 70.54.010 “Polluting Water Supply – Penalty”:Salmon run 2

Every person who shall deposit or suffer to be deposited in any spring, well, stream, river or lake, the water of which is or may be used for drinking purposes, or on any property owned, leased or otherwise controlled by any municipal corporation, corporation or person as a watershed or drainage basin for a public or private water system, any matter or thing whatever, dangerous or deleterious to health, or any matter or thing which may or could pollute the waters of such spring, well, stream, river, lake or water system, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.


On April 27, 2016, a petition from three non-profit organizations including SVENA was sent to FPB (WA Forest Practices Board) for better notice to adjacent communities and disclosure of information for aerially-sprayed toxic forest chemicals. You can also find a link to the petition on CHEMICAL SPRAYING page of our website. Please send your short message of support for the petition to the FPB’s email address forest.practicesboard@dnr.wa.gov . The comment period has been extended until November 2016 when the petition will be discussed again at a quarterly meeting of FPB (Forest Practices Board of DNR, Department of Natural Resources). See an example of a support letter here. You and your comments/letters are very important to our government.

We believe that SVENA is bringing substantial value and benefits to the Valley. We will be glad if you support our efforts towards a safer, cleaner, healthier, more sustainable and beautiful place to live, work and to visit by becoming a Sponsor, a Member, sharing your talents as a Volunteer,  joining our Facebook Group, or by simply clicking on a “Like” button on our Facebook page. Please spread the word, let us know if you have questions / environmental concerns / interesting facts, if you would like to add someone to the mailing list or to opt out of receiving SVENA updates.

Warm regards,

Inessa Pearce
SVENA (Skykomish Valley Environmental & Economic Alliance)