Seattle City Light’s long tradition of tours at the Skagit Hydroelectric Project takes a temporary break this year, due to security concerns which limit access to the power production facilities.
After September 11, 2001, security was tightened at all power generation facilities owned and operated by Seattle City Light. Guided tours of other power plants in the state have also been suspended or curtailed. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, (FERC) has issued an order to allow this temporary cancellation.
“Right now, we can only allow City Light employees access to our power plant facilities. There are still many things to see and do in this beautiful area. We will bring back the tours as soon as possible,” says Seattle City Light Superintendent Gary Zarker.
Skagit tours normally run from June to the end of September. This is only the second time since 1928 that the tours have been temporarily suspended. The last time was between 1942 and 1947 due to World War II.
The Skagit Hydroelectric Project is located in the scenic Ross Lake National Recreation Area in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Seattle City Light’s information center and the Skagit General Store in Newhalem on the North Cascades Highway remain open as do the many trails and campgrounds in the area. Ferry service across Diablo Lake to Ross Lake Resort is scheduled to resume in late June, in time for the opening of fishing season. The National Park Service’s North Cascades Visitor Center near Newhalem is open weekends year-round, and daily April 12, 2002, to June 30, 2002, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, and from 8:00am - 6:00 pm daily July 1, 2002 to September 2, 2002. Visit their website at www.nps.gov/noca.
For more information, call (206) 684-3030.