Because the 2023 Legislative session began today in Olympia, this email is on ways YOU can help get funding and support for SE Washington Rail, to replace the transportation services currently provided by the Lower Snake River dams.
First, some exciting news:
On Wednesday (Jan 11 at 4pm), SR Campaign Lead Bill Moyer has been invited to present to the House Transportation Committee on our “Trains Can Save Salmon” Plan! (SolutionaryRail.org/lsrbarge2rail)
Tune in to the Jan 11th Committee Meeting HERE. (Click on View Video; there is not an opportunity for public testimony on this date.)
Second, help Legislators do the right thing:
Anyone from Washington State can provide written or remote verbal testimony on 1125 Transportation Funding, on January 12 by signing up here.The hearing is 4pm-5:55pm. The opportunity to testify is on a first come/first serve basis, and slots are filling up fast. Please sign up or submit written testimony!
Solutionary Rail asks our members to take a position on the following:
1. We object to HB 1125’s proposal for abandoning or “railbanking” the critically important WSDOT-owned rail between Colfax and Pullman and track north and south of Pullman. (“Railbanking” is a way to abandon tracks while theoretically reserving the option of returning it to rail in the future if needed. In practice, track that is converted to trail is almost never returned to rail.) This is not a time to abandon these critical sections that could provide critical connectivity as proposed by Solutionary Rail. On the contrary, now is the time to repair these sections of WA State-owned track – as the starting point for increasing connectivity, resilience and utilization of rail as an increasingly competitive alternative to barging on the Lower Snake River.
2. Governor Inslee has requested $5 million to study the feasibility of grain transportation by rail. We ask that the general study request is replaced with specific items from SR’s 8 Point Plan for SE Washington.
3. The timeline for the Governor’s Study of modeshifting freight off Lower Snake River barges needs to be accelerated, to reflect the urgency and timeline of preventing salmon extinction. Instead of a Dec 31, 2024 deadline, we want the deadline moved up to Dec 31, 2023.
We’ll have additional ways to Take Action for SE Washington Rail (a Toolkit is HERE) as well as info on supporting the Rail Can’t Wait Campaign, but for now we’re focusing on getting folks to testify on Thursday, and wanted to share the news that Legislators will be hearing from SR Campaign Lead on Wednesday!
Let’s Meet Up!
We’re supporting the youth-led March in Olympia this Friday, Jan 13th, to save Snake River salmon and Southern Resident orca. Learn more HERE.
-=-=-Backbone Campaign · PO Box 278, Vashon, WA 98070, United States
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