Woodland Chamber of Commerce
Business of the Quarter Awards

Photography by Noel Johnson - Click to enlarge.

Chamber Business of the Quarter Awarded to

3rd Quarter, 2005

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The Woodland Chamber of Commerce was happy to announce that the winner of the Business of the 3rd Quarter was awarded to PacifiCorp. Darlene Johnson outlined all the benefits, to the Community of Woodland, and the Lewis River Valley, that PacifiCorp has provided over the years. Darlene and Noel Johnson thanked PacifiCorp, for the provisions that they agreed to, in the new licenses for the three dams on the North Fork Lewis River.

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I am very pleased to announce PacifiCorp (Pacific Power Utah Power) as the Woodland Chamber of Commerce Business of the Quarter.

Under the names of Northwestern Electric, Pacific Power and Light and now PacifiCorp the business first established a presence in the Woodland Community in 1931 with the completion of the Merwin reservoir. The Yale reservoir followed in 1953 with Swift No. 1 reservoir completed in 1958.

The three dams on the North Fork of the Lewis River generate 510 MW which is enough electricity to serve more than a quarter of a million residential customers. More than 1.6 million customers in six Western states look to PacifiCorp for safe, reliable electrical service.

But theirs is not just the business of creating electricity. PacifiCorp and its predecessors have always taken an active role in the community promoting recreational opportunities and stressing the need to preserve environment along the river and reservoirs for wildlife and fish.

PacificCorp operates 14 parks and day-use facilities along the river and on the shores of Merwin, Yale and Swift reservoirs. These facilities are used by a half-million people each year. And many of them pass through Woodland on their way upriver stopping to support our local businesses.

In June 2005 PacifiCorp received an Excellence in Planning Award from the National Association of Recreational Resource Planners. The award recognized the comprehensive recreation plan developed during the Lewis River Hydroelectric Project licensing process, which began in 1995 and was completed this year.

PacifiCorp's recreational plan includes over $20 million in capital improvements over the life of the new license including parking and recreational equipment, construction of new shelters, replacement of docks, improvements to boat launching facilities, new restrooms and expansion of camping facilities. Improved shoreline campsites accessible only by boat will provide new experiences for campers. New trails will be developed with an emphasis placed on making many facilities accessible for the disabled.

Wildlife protection and fish enhancement projects are also included in the plan. PacifiCorp has a tradition of working in partnership with the community. When the Woodland Chamber of Commerce first opened a tourist facility in the City after the Mt. St. Helens eruption, PP&L employees were front line volunteers in helping to site the trailer. At that time Chamber of Commerce volunteers manned telephones in the Information Center and confirmed reservations for the PP&L parks and facilities. PacifiCorp employees annually support a holiday food drive to help local residents, have donated labor and materials to Fire Districts 2 and 7, and participate in local events including Planters' Days. They donate toys to Doernbecher Children's Hospital and are on hand to help with the Merwin Fishing Derby for disabled children.

PacifiCorp worked with the City of Woodland in establishing a precedent flood control program in the early 1980's. The City had extended water and sewer lines to the east side of the freeway. New residential building would only happen if there were an agreement to provide flood control by then PP&L. The flood level was raised three feet none of the houses built to the new level flooded during 1996.

For over seventy-five years the hydroelectric "business" up the river has been integrated into our community. It has offered employment opportunities, actively improved recreational opportunities for locals and tourists and has been a steward of the river and reservoirs for wildlife and fish.
Contributed by Darlene Johnson

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