Cowlitz tribe objects to St. Helens dam plan

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LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — The Cowlitz Indian tribe is objecting to a Corps of Engineers proposal to raise a sediment retention dam on the Toutle River by 10 feet.

The tribe says the longer-range plan to raise the spillway 30 feet could hurt chances for salmon and steelhead in the upper watershed.

The Daily News reports (http://is.gd/ro1YFR) this is the first time the tribe has opposed work to control sediments from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

The corps says the volcanic silt is washing downstream and slowly raising the riverbed — increasing the risk of flooding in the Cowlitz River.

The tribe wants an environmental impact statement that would postpone work on the sediment dam for at least a year.