Stream activist lament


Opinion By Don Russell
[Acronyms defined at the end of the article]

Derek and Janet,

I am now 92 years old and don’t have much time left.

I have witnessed, photo documented, water quantity and water quality monitored, written numerous papers on the condition of the CCSS watershed, prescribed the actions necessary to restore the beneficial uses of our shallow aquifer groundwater discharge diminished/deprived, nutrient polluted groundwater fed and sediment fouled streams and lakes, produced a number of Power Point presentations, testified for and against various proposed legislation, and filed appeals with the Pollution Control Board.

None of these activities have resulted in beneficial use restoration of our and adjacent development impaired watersheds.


Because they have been perceived to be unfairly critical of Ecology’s effectiveness in applying Federal and State environmental laws, County and City execution of Ecology’s mandated actions and the effectiveness of PCSWM sponsored CCWC.

As a result of this governmental agency protectionism the tenets of citizen participation, credible science, development of water quality standards that are protective of aquatic life (salmon), monitoring, and adaptive management are routinely ignored.

Examples:  The Clarks Creek DO and sediment TMDL.  Waughop Lake alum treatment. CalPortland’s permanent dewatering of the Vashon aquifer.  Lack of perennial In stream flow in the McChord to Lake Steilacoom reach of Clover Creek.  HABs in 80% of Pierce County Lakes.

All of the knowledgeable and dedicated to restoration people (Kathy Hamel at Ecology, Joan Hardy at DOH, Ray Hanowell at TPCHD, Dan Wrye at PCSWM) are now retired. Al Schmauder, Kris Kauffman, Ione Clagett, Kurt Reidinger, Cindy Becket are in our twilight years and fading fast.  There are no lions left in our governmental agencies and worse their is no repository of the knowledge that these people possessed to pass on to future lions.

I believe that only those in the educational field can preserve and make the wisdom of the past available to future young lions.  It is obvious that the CCWC is not the repository for of this knowledge and wisdom. 

Therefore I(‘m) appealing to you two to act to preserve and pass on the requisite knowledge to the young who someday may dedicate themselves to “Making the CCWC watershed a fit habitat for Coho salmon on its indigenous and immigrant people.”  It is obvious that the current generation has failed to provide this Vision and an Action Plan to realize that vision.


CCSS – Chambers Clover Stream System
CCWC – Chambers Clover Watershed Council
PCSWM – Pierce County Surface Water Management
Ecology – Washington State Department of Ecology
DO – Dissolved Oxygen (fish do breathe)
TMDL – Total Maximum Daily Load (of pollutants)
HABs – Harmful Algal Blooms
DOH – Washington State Department of Health


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