Crosscut: Lummi Nation intends to be big player in port talks

"A new set of applications to develop the West Coast's largest coal-shipping port north of Bellingham at Cherry Point is expected to be filed early in 2012, with parties gearing up for political as well as environmental struggles over the proposal.

This week the Lummi Nation, the largest Native-American tribe in Whatcom County, served notice that it intends to be a major player in studies dealing with the port. Merle Jefferson Sr., a Lummi elder statesman and director of the Lummi Natural Resources Department for 20 years, addressed Lummi concerns in an opinion piece in the Bellingham Herald.

Although a study group had been created earlier this year, Jefferson's article was a first notice to the larger community that the Lummi Nation has major concerns that it wants addressed as SSA Marine goes forward with plans for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Fully operational, the export terminal would ship about 48 million tons of coal annually from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to Asian markets. The terminal would have another 6 million tons of capacity, for commodities that have not been specified. Grain has been mentioned by terminal proponents."

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Floyd J. McKay: Lummi Nation raises its profile on coal port plan (Crosscut 12/8)

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