Governor Gregoire to start Eastern Wash. tour in Walla Walla


WALLA WALLA -- Gov. Chris Gregoire will make the Walla Walla area her first stop as she begins a two-day tour of Eastern Washington on Thursday.

The governor will be at Harris Park in Milton-Freewater at 10 a.m. to discuss river restoration with a representative of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, said Karina Shagren, deputy communications director.

The discussion will include a proposed project to pipe water from the Columbia River to local irrigation districts. The districts, in turn, would then leave Walla Walla River water in-stream to ensure water flows during the summer to support survival of endangered fish species.

The governor is also scheduled to tour the Gardena Farms Irrigation District diversion dam on Beet Road before going to lunch at the Whitman Mission National Historic Site, Shagren said.

Joining Gregoire on the tour will be Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant, Department of Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse and Commerce Director Rogers Weed.

Other stops on the tour will include the Red Mountain wine region near the Tri-Cities, a meeting with the Yakima River Basin water enhancement work group and a tour of the Irving Newhouse & Sons 600-acre farm near Sunnyside.

The final stops will be in Brewster for a visit to Gebbers Farm, one of the state's leading fruit growers and processors, and in Odessa to tour Inland Empire Oilseeds.


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