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After years of pressure and thousands of people taking action to defend public water, yesterday we received news that Governor Kate Brown told the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife to withdraw the application to transfer a state-owned water right that would have enabled Nestlé to build their water bottling plant.
As one of the core groups in the Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge coalition, Barkers are raising a howl today and thanking the Oregonians who persevered in the fight to stop Nestlé from bottling our public water!
Governor Brown has said her interest to stop the exchange lies in a desire for a more transparent process, something we have been demanding for three administrations. This announcement also comes following one of the largest Native American led rallies in recent history on the Capitol steps in Salem. In September, native salmon fisherman with treaty rights on the Columbia River asked tribal leaders to intervene, and both the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs and the Umatilla have written to the governor's office demanding a stake in the process.
This setback for Nestlé is a significant hit for the future of their proposal to bottle and export our water. Added to the incredible ballot referendum campaign mounted by the Local Water Alliance, it would seem Nestlé’s days in the Gorge are numbered.
In the meantime, join us in sending Governor Kate Brown a thank you message and encouragement to continue to defend our right for public involvement determining how we use public water.
Interim Executive Director
P.S. This fight to stop Nestlé is far from over. If you want to be sure Bark continues to demand that the public be part of the process, make a contribution today.