Puyallup tribe | KNKX

Puyallup tribe

AstroTurf seen in the Puyallup River during work done in late July by Electron Hydro.
Courtesy of the Puyallup Tribe

Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier says he wants to see the obsolete Electron Dam removed from the Puyallup River. This comes after an employee revealed that the private owner of the dam was illegally using discarded AstroTurf in the river during work on upgrades this summer.

The new bridge span that carries traffic over the Puyallup River between Tacoma and Fife is now called the Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge and in Twulshootseed, yabuk’wali, meaning “place of a fight.”
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A deep red modern span stretches over Pacific Highway on the bridge that links Tacoma to Fife, carrying a steady stream of cars and trucks over the Puyallup River. The bridge and an older portion of it nearby were recently renamed by the City of Tacoma in collaboration with the Puyallup Tribe. It’s now called the Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge and in Twulshootseed, yabuk’wali, meaning “place of a fight.”

Fifty years ago today, members of the Puyallup Tribe faced off here with local law enforcement.

AstroTurf in the Puyallup River, near the site of Electron Hydro's dam improvement project.
Courtesy of the Puyallup Tribe

UPDATE, Sept. 14:  Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier says he wants to see the obsolete Electron Dam removed from the Puyallup River. He issued a letter to the head of Electron Hydro, extending the county’s stop-work order because of the AstroTurf and requiring a list of 14 steps to be carried out immediately.

The 8 million-gallon containment tank is seen from a distance on Tacoma's tideflats at the site of a liquefied natural gas plant currently under construction.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Editor's note: This series originally published May 22. Environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp was in Tacoma on Tuesday covering the latest developments, including an anti-LNG march and a public hearing related to permits for the proposed project. Listen to her coverage on All Things Considered today and Morning Edition tomorrow, and revisit previous coverage (updates at the bottom of this post).

Puget Sound Energy CEO Kimberly Harris wasn’t surprised to receive a call from Gov. Jay Inslee the afternoon of May 8. But she was surprised to hear what he had to say.

Rendering of the new Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge.
Courtesy of Chris Storey

A Tacoma bridge that was on the frontline of the Puyallup Tribe’s fight for its fishing rights now has a name to commemorate that history. Today, tribal leaders gather to dedicate the Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge, formerly known as the Puyallup River Bridge.