Nestle began scouting the Northwest earlier this year for a location to build a commercial water bottling plant.
After quickly being blocked by voters in Cascade Locks, Oregon, the company turned to Waitsburg, Washington. There, NWPR reported that the proposed plan created division among the residents.
“We need to bring in some new businesses,” Waitsburg business owner Melanie Wilkinson told us. “However, I’m not sure that Nestle is the best fit for Waitsburg.”
The biggest concern was what effect the Nestle plant would have on the quality of water and quality of life around Waitsburg.
Now, the Yakama Nation has joined the movement to stop the water bottling facility.
The Yakima Herald reported that JoDe Goudy, tribal council chairman of the Yakama Nation, spoke at a protest against the Nestle plant in Cascade Locks on September 21st, 2016. Goudy joins protestors from the Warm Springs tribe, Umatilla tribe and the Local Water Alliance.
Goudy says the facility threatens cold water supplies that Columbia River salmon cannot survive without, which in turn threatens the Nation’s Treaty-protected fishery.
“Any threat to these water resources is an attack on the health of our fisheries and the Yakama Nation’s Treaty-reserved right to participate in those fisheries,” Goudy said.
The Yakama Nation’s stand against Nestle’s proposed facility comes only weeks after member from eight Washington tribes headed to North Dakota to join the Standing Rock Sioux protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.