On Wednesday, July 25 Clallam County Commissioners; Bill Peach, Randy Johnson and Mark Ozias met in La Push with Quileute Tribal Council members James Jackson Sr., Secretary, Skyler Foster, treasurer, Douglas Woodruff Jr., chairman2 and Zachary Jones, member at large. Council member Tony Foster was not at the meeting as he was participating in the Tribe’s paddle event.
Also present at the meeting was Larry Burtness, Planner and Grant Writer for the Quileute Tribal Council. Also joining the Commissioners was County Admistrator Jim Jones.
The three commissioners have made it a goal to meet with all tribes and city governments in the county.
At the start of the meeting the commissioners relinquished a few minutes to Forks Chamber of Commerce Director Lissy Andros and Chamber President Christi Baron to talk about a recent change in CenturyLinks membership/partnership with the Chamber in hosting the two web cameras on the Chamber’s web site.
The cameras are visited by many from all over the world and often used on the Seattle Television stations. Andros told the council that CenturyLink now feels the arrangement is not compliant with its current corporate policy.
Tribal council members all agreed that the web cams also benefit La Push, and Larry Burtness suggested that maybe something could be worked out between the chamber and the tribe since the cameras are housed at the Tribal School.
Plans for Cascadia
Commissioner Mark Ozias asked what the Tribe is doing in planning for the Cascadia Event. Map Your Neighborhood was discussed. Burtness said that models show that La Push may sink about 6 feet, and the tribe is looking at getting generators, and recently got a satellite emergency communications system.
A discussion of climate change followed with talk of rising sea levels and the impact on the lower village and the effort now to move infastructure to higher ground. Tribal Council member Jackson said tribal fishermen are seeing changes in crabbing and other fisheries, and Woodruff added that they have had several disasterous crabbing seasons.
Burtness also shared a concern of a shrinking field along the Quillayute River, once about 40 acres it is now down to about 2 acres. The changes in the area could mean the Quillayute river changing direction and coming through the village.
The particulars of the recent fiber optic expansion to Tribal land was discussed which has a few hurdles yet to get through. The future plan of the Olympic Discovery Trail reaching La Push was also discussed.
The council shared with the commissioners the plan for a future parking lot that would help with the dangerous situation created in the summer months with too many people wanting to access 2nd and 3rd beaches and parking where they shouldn’t.