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Animosity flowing in Washington water dispute

(Thursday, Aug. 29, 2002 -- CropChoice news) --

The Oregonian


PESHASTIN, Wash. -- A water war is boiling in "the pear capital of the world" in what may be a taste of battles to come in farm country as environmentalists continue to assume a growing role in enforcing the Endangered Species Act in the Northwest.

The clash erupted after the Seattle-based Washington Environmental Council sent local irrigators a letter warning that they must quit diverting so much water to orchards and do a better job of helping endangered fish navigate Peshastin Creek -- or face the consequences in court.

The group says the letter was intended to encourage the irrigation district to work with the environmental group but was greeted like hate mail. Instead of engaging the council in discussions, the Peshastin Irrigation District quit improving its canals to stockpile cash for a court fight and refuses to meet with the council.

Read the rest of the story at: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/front_page/1030622170318282.xml