KEEP NESTLE OUT OF THE GORGE!

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Produced by: 
KBOO
Air date: 
Wed, 08/19/2015 - 12:00am
Guests Anna Mae Leonard from Cascade Locks and Julia DeGraw in studio
Cascade Locks resident and Native activist Anna Mae Leonard is on a five-day fast at Cascade Locks City Hall, asking the City Council to withdraw its joint request for a water rights swap allowing the Swiss-based multinational Nestle Corporation to build a water-bottling plant there.  She joins host Paul Roland on the phone from Cascade Locks, along with Julia DeGraw of Food and Water Watch in the KBOO studio. 

The regionally unprecedented water swap request was made jointly with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in April to the Oregon Water Resources Department  If approved by the department, the city would transfer the rights to pure spring water from Oxbrow Spring, located near Oxbow Hatchery on the east side of Cascade Locks for its own muncipal ground water. The city would then sell up to 118 million gallons a year of the spring water to Nestle for bottling in its proposed 250,000-square-foot plant.

The local forest-protection group BARK and the NW branch of Food and Water Watch have been leading the fight to stop this project, which they say would effectively privatize a vital water resource and diminish the quality of water flowing into the Columbia River. 

In May, E. Austin Green, Jr., Chairmand of the Tribal Council of the Conferedated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown requesting that she reconsider allowing the swap without a public interest review. An intervention from Warm Springs and/or the other Columbia River treaty tribes based on their treaty rights could prove a formidable obstacle to Nestle's privatization scheme. Because Oxbow Spring water is of higher quality and almost certainly colder than the well water proposed to substitute it, the swap would likely affect the health of the salmon and other fish that the tribes have treaty-guaranteed rights to. (See http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/a-leak-in-the-bottle/Content?oid=16137706 on this issue.)

Leonard is part of the Native fishing community on the river and has organized N'chi-wana Fishing People Against Nestle to bring the Native community into the issue along with local Cascade Locks residents (The Local Water Alliance) and the environmental groups opposed to the water-bottling plant.  

If you agree that Nestlé is a raw deal for Oregon contact the governor today:

Here is Governor Brown’s number: 503-378-4582, you can send her a message here: http://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/share-your-opinion.aspx, or best yet a letter:

Office of the Governor
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301-4047

Also , there's an on-line petition:
http://forcechange.com/9249/say-no-to-water-privatization-stop-nestle-from-taking-over-the-columbia-river-gorge/

For more information:

https://keepnestleout.wordpress.com/

http://bark-out.org/project/nestle-water-bottling-proposal

http://stopnestlewaters.org/about

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/



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