DuPONT, Wash. — A bid by Glacier Northwest to expand its sand and gravel mine in this historic village has reopened a decades-long land-use battle involving the Sequalitchew Creek Canyon, a conflict supposedly settled 15 years ago.
Glacier, one of the largest sand and gravel mining operations in the nation, wants to add 177 acres to its 335-acre mine to buy the company another 14 years of business, selling more than 250 sand and gravel products to customers across Puget Sound.
The project features construction of a new tributary to Sequalitchew Creek, feeding the lower reaches of the water-starved stream so it can once again support salmon in a 4,000-foot stretch.
"It's an exciting project that would allow salmon to come back to the stream," Glacier general manager Scott Nicholson said of the DuPont mine.
But the mine expansion also would take water from upper reaches of the creek and require a cut in the creek canyon to connect the man-made tributary to the stream.
Therein lies the problem.
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