Lester was the railroad running up the Green river, a later road along the river built on an earlier railroad bed, and the winter closed (initially) Stampede Pass to the east toward Yakima. The Whos and Whys and Wherefores of the Lester community I never really learned, but since they lived at high altitude, were isolated and often winter bound, I assumed they lived a pretty basic, tough, hard-scrabble life. They also were directly in the way of the ambition of the TWD to own and control the entire watershed.
My earliest memories are of talk by the TWD about open latrines or outhouses set beside the river which polluted the Green. Vivid images of course to spring to mind when one fills a glass from a faucet. From the TWD’s perspective, they had to go. But these people didn’t WANT to go. Open non-combative warfare ensued between this “public utility” and this very small segment of the public.
If my memory serves me correctly, the TWD first tried closing the automobile road westward from Lester down the Green though the then accumulating TWD watershed property which eventually encircled Lester. With western automobile access shut off the community was dependent on railroad traffic and seasonally open Stampede Pass. The TWD was taken to court by Lester residents and forced by court order to permit car access up and down it’s road to Lester residents (and they remain to this day the ONLY non-TWD access up that river and watershed. They cannot stop, they can only pass through).
The TWD further tried to starve out the community with an under-the-table deal struck with a local timber mill (which company I wonder??) in which any Lester resident would be automatically refused employment!!! This “problem” was also settled in court, and the TWD LOST. This mind boggling and amazing action by a “public utility” is admitted to in the TWD’s own history book!!!
The community of Lester still exists to this day, no thanks to the TWD. Since the
Tacoma water is fine, presumably they didn’t need it after all.

The Tacoma Water Department and Washington Sportsmen
The Green River itself hosted historic runs of salmon for sure, probably native steelhead. Now most, if not all of it’s anadramous fish are of lower river hatchery origin. The problems, as with anadramous fish everywhere, have to do with access, streamflow, and habitat. The first barrier to
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