As some of you may be aware, the natural gas pipeline that was previously buried below Northwestern Lake is now becoming exposed as the White Salmon River continues to carve through the lake sediment. Yesterday, Williams Pipeline notified the river community that they will be doing maintainence on the pipeline beginning in November. They will be re-routing the pipeline to hang above the river, as re-burying it below the river is not feasible. For safety reasons, the project will require closing the section of the White Salmon River near the pipeline crossing on a few days in late November and December. The following is the official announcement from Williams Pipeline, as well as contact info if you’d like to receive more information:

White Salmon River - map of pipeline project area




Please be advised that Williams Northwest Pipeline (Northwest) will be conducting maintenance activities during late November through December 2012 on its existing 26-inch natural gas pipeline located within the upper reaches of the former Northwestern Lake. These activities will include construction around and over the White Salmon River.

The maintenance area is approximately 0.70 river miles downstream from the Castle and 0.24 river miles upstream from the Northwestern Lake Road Bridge and the Northwestern Lake Park.

In order to ensure the safety of boaters, rafters, anglers and residents in the area, the project will require closing a portion of the White Salmon River at the pipeline crossing described above on certain days from late November through December 2012. More specific closure information is forthcoming.

Northwest is working with federal, state and local authorities to obtain required permits. We’re also working with landowners, communities and recreationalists to minimize the impact of the project. We invite public input as we seek to conduct this work in the safest and least disruptive manner possible. Specifically, we are looking for input on the most effective methods to inform the community about this project and the importance of avoiding our maintenance area on specific dates to be determined. Methods could include signs, notices, social media, web sites, public meetings, etc.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and invite you to contact us with your input or to discuss any questions or potential conflicts with your plans.

To reach us and to receive additional information about the project, please call our toll-free number at:


If you would like more information on updates, you may want to email Williams Pipeline and request to be added to any mailing lists: The contact is George Angerbauer:

We’ll try to keep you all up-to-date on the river closures as we receive more specific information.

Author Todd Collins lives on the White Salmon River in BZ Corner and works year round for Wet Planet.