Questions Corps' understanding


It's hard to believe that the Army Corps of Engineers really is "unclear" about the position of the Lummi Nation on the Cherry Point coal terminal. As John Stark's Sept. 14 articles demonstrates, the tribe has unequivocally stated that the coal terminal constitutes "significant impairment of the treaty fishing right."

Stark's article also makes clear that federal judges have repeatedly ruled that any impairment of treaty rights is not allowable.

There's not much unclear about that, unless the Army Corps of Engineers is using some new, unfamiliar translation of the English language. If so, I don't think it will hold up in court.

The Corps' spokewoman's suggestion that the tribe write yet another letter, this time stating "there are no more discussions, we can't come to any agreement" seems bizarre in this context. Is there some difference of opinion among the Lummi Nation leadership? So far, it certainly has not surfaced in any public document.

Virginia Herrick


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