Eight Mile Lake Dam Subject of Talks in Washington DC

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LEAVENWORTH- Chelan County Commissioner Keith Goehner will head to Washington DC next week for talks concerning land-use restrictions in Federally protected wilderness areas. NCWLIFE’s Steve Hair has more.

The issue has been front and center in the ongoing efforts to make repairs at the threatened 8-mile Lake Dam which is located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The dam is owned by the Icicle/Peshastin Irrigation District and was built over a hundred years ago.

Last year’s Jack Creek Fire ravaged the surrounding mountain sides leaving the lake vulnerable to severe runoff and possible dam failure.

The first phase of repairs has been completed but more work is planned. But Goehner says getting equipment into the area is a challenge under current wilderness restrictions.

“We are going back to Washington DC to hopefully have some conversations that will resolve some of those issues,” Goehner said. “The excavator that was up there, and is still up there at 8-Mile, had to be flown in and the state got involved in order to fund that and make sure the emergency repairs were done.”

Goehner says the recently completed repairs on the Dam spillway have helped relieve concerns for resident’s living downstream. He says rain gauge monitoring equipment has also been installed as an early warning system in the event there’s a sudden drop in the lake level.