In a recent decision (see the attachment below) issued by the US Court of Appeals, a judge decided that Snoqualmine Falls hydroelectric project does not interfere with a local tribe's religious freedom.The Snoqualmie India Tribe considers Snoqualmine Falls that lies within the project boundary to be a sacred site that played a role in the creation of the tribe. It also believes that the mist created by the Falls connects the earth with the heaven.
This analysis uses the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration tool in concert with basic hydrological statistical analyses to assess the new flow regime dictated for the High Falls Gorge bypassed river reach, on the Saranac River. Hydrologic data are linked with known relationships between flow variables and ecological responses. General ecological effects of the new flow regime are predicted based on these relationships. Proposed pulse flows are discussed in this hydrological context. An enhanced flow regime is suggested based on the findings of these analyses. Note: While this analysis was conducted on a specific FERC project, this work has implications on many other projects where IHA could add value, or where the delphi habitat assessment methodology is proposed.