Lummi chairman to speak at July 10 water forum

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 7, 2014 

LUMMI RESERVATION - The next water-resources forum hosted by the Rome Grange features some of the biggest players in the complicated conflict over Whatcom County's water supply.

The free public forum runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 10, in the West Theater Room of the Event Center at the Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa, 4876 Haxton Way.

Opening remarks are by Tim Ballew, chairman of the Lummi Indian Business Council. The Lummi and Nooksack tribes are asserting the primacy of their water rights for stream flows, to maintain habitat for salmon.

Once a federal court rules on the size of the tribal water rights, other users - cities, farmers, industries and others - will need to sort out the water that's left.

County Executive Jack Louws will moderate the forum, and Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville will give a statement. Panelists include Ed Blok, representing a coalition of farmers; Randy Kinley of Lummi Nation; and Dave Olson on behalf of rural water systems.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or ralph.schwartz@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Politics blog at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhampolitics.

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