I am working on a framework to implement the goals of the I-937 initiative for renewable energy in the Nisqually River watershed. I have been authorized by the Executive Committee of the Nisqually River Council to do research on their behalf. I need help in establishing a core group that would assist with volunteer time for that research and
legwork in preparing an action proposal to present to the Nisqually River Council in March 2007.
I have been working with Ohop Mutual Light Company, Eatonville, encouraging them to establish an alternative and sustainable energy incentive program for cooperative members. In addition I have been discussing with the leadership of the Nisqually River Council the idea of establishing a watershed-wide program to implement intensive energy conservation practices, and solar and wind energy production. These conversations have more urgency with the apparent passage of I-937 and the reality of global warming or climate change. I don’t believe there is an implementing strategy for I-937, and it will fall on the backs of Washington utility organizations. Therefore, local communities should step up and organize for their collective future.
Here are some ideas:
-Develop a renewable energy and conservation element with 50-year vision, goals, objectives and actions for the Nisqually Watershed Stewardship Plan.
-Sponsor a renewable energy summit among the electrical utilities and interested others that operate within the Nisqually River Watershed (WRIA 11–Portions of Thurston, Pierce and Lewis Counties) for the purpose of collaboratively establishing goals and timelines.
-Define and encourage business and economic opportunities that establish solar and wind equipment manufacturing, assembly and installation and energy conservation within the watershed (possibly part of the summit).
-Develop a model partnership with a local electrical utility, such as Ohop Mutual, that implements existing renewable energy incentives.
-Include watershed-wide transportation goals that implement alternative fuels.
The Nisqually River Council is a locally-based management partnership of state and local governments, businesses and individuals. Their goal is to steward the Nisqually River watershed-its people, its businesses, its economy, its tourism, its wildlife habitat, and its water sources-in a sustainable manner. The Council operates within the framework of their Nisqually Watershed Stewardship Plan that can be downloaded from this website, www.nisquallyriver.org
It is my belief that with good planning and modest investments, the Nisqually River Watershed can go well beyond the mandate of I-937 and become a net producer of green energy.
Thank you for any help you can provide in moving this project forward.
Citizens Advisory Committee
Nisqually River Council