Yakama Nation urges Gov. Inslee to declare state of emergency at Rattlesnake Ridge

TOPPENISH, Wash. - The Yakama Nation called on Governor Jay Inslee Friday to declare a state of emergency at Rattlesnake Ridge, where a potential landslide could impact communities and permanently alter lands culturally significant to Native people.

The City of Union Gap, City of Yakima, Yakima County, and the Yakama Nation have all declared states of emergency. Requests for federal aid to help mitigate damage and support those who live and work in the area would be strengthened if Washington state also issued a state of emergency.

“Rattlesnake Ridge is more to us than a piece of property or mineral resources. There is a legend tied to this ridge, this was a battle site, this is a piece of Yakama Nation history that will now be forever changed due to the slide,” Chairman Goudy said. “The Yakama people will not accept the continued degradation of the environment and our culture."