Bumping Lake cabin owners say expanding the reservoir would do more environmental harm than good. Here are some of their concerns:
Cabin owner David Huycke says – more than his cabin – he’s worried that people are not trying to conserve water.
“The whole idea of the dam is to avoid the inconvenience of conserving. It’s to have the same practices that we have now for irrigation, for our green lawns around town,” Huycke says.
Down the road, cabin owner Suzy Cyr is working to get the first cabin built at Bumping Lake on the National Register of Historic Places. The first dam tender, Jack Nelson, lived in the cabin after he retired.
He and his wife, Kitty, used to venture to an old-growth stand on the other side of the lake. Cyr says that stand, which locals call The Sanctuary, would be a great loss.
“I’d never been to an old-growth forest before. I moved up here from Los Angeles,” Cyr says. “I walked in, and I couldn’t figure out why it was so different. … It’s a whole different environment. It’s so quiet because the ground is covered in moss. And the trees. They’re just monster trees. And it’s really wet. There’s mushrooms and mosses there that I haven’t seen anywhere else. … It’s thick. Thick. Thick.”
Ray Foisy has visited Bumping Lake for 72 years. He notices animals around all the time: flying squirrels, bear, beavers, raccoons. He says the cabin owners are fortunate to have the cabins. But they’re also good stewards of the land.
“We’ve had situations where we’ve had forest fires in the area, and cabin owners have gone to those immediately and been the first ones there,” Foisy says.
He says cabin owners have also helped campers and recreationalists with a number of first aid situations.
Cabin owner Chris Maykut is organizing cabin owners and recreationalists to fight the expansion. He says water planners have other options that could work, before enlarging Bumping Lake.
“We’re the low hanging fruit here because we’re the place that’s upstream from the Yakima Valley,” Maykut says. “They don’t want to take on the senior water districts. They don’t want to mandate conservation, and they don’t want to mandate water marketing.”
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