CALL TO ACTION! Bill Devastates Skagit Farmland...Record your Opposition by January 19, 9 am.

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Please take a few minutes to OPPOSE HB 1838 by Wednesday January 19 at 9 am. This is one of the worst bills attacking a farmer’s right to use their own land has been scheduled for a hearing next week. HB 1838 was developed in secret over the summer by the governor and is sponsored by Rep. Lekanoff, D-Mount Vernon. You may also sign up to testify, either via zoom or in written form.  This has more impact with a committee.  Links below

DESCRIPTION OF BILL:  "Protecting, restoring, and maintaining habitat for salmon recovery."  The Washington Farm Bureau says this is one of the worst bills, ever, and attacks a farmer's right to use their own land.  One of the sponsors is Rep. Lekanoff (D) from Mount Vernon.

At the very least, click HERE to enter your OPPOSITION.  This link will take you to a Committee Sign In page. 

On the pull down menu, make sure your position is CON

Put in your first name, last name and email address. 

You are not required to write in anything under "Organization," unless you are testifying on behalf of a group.

Putting in your address is optional, but you must include your city, state, zip and phone number.

Click the box to prove you're not a robot, then "Submit Registration." And you're done.

PLEASE PASS THIS POST ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW WHO IS LIKE MINDED: FRIENDS, FAMILY, NEIGHBORS. 

GET YOUR FRIENDS' AND RELATIVES' PERMISSION AND RECORD THEIR POSITION AS WELL.  YOU ARE NOT LIMITED TO ONE COMMENT PER EMAIL ADDRESS!

If you can submit written testimony or testify via zoom, that carries more weight. You must sign up by 9 am January 19 to testify with the committee when it meets at 10 am.

Sign in to submit written testimony HERE. Enter your position (CON), First and Last Name, email address, city, state, zip and phone number.  Then enter your written testimony, and click the box to show you are not a robot.  Then Submit your Registration.  You may use the talking points or the paragraphs below.

Even better, sign up to testify remotely by zoom HERE. Enter your position (CON), No to testifying as a panel, enter your First and Last Name, email address, city, state, zip and phone number.  Click that you are not a robot and Submit Registration.

Written statements / talking points

This bill...

Mandates large NO TOUCH buffers on all private lands (provides very few exceptions) but exempts tribal lands – this is a clear regulatory taking of private property rights.

Creates huge buffers as large as 235 feet on each side of a stream or river or all around a pond, lake or wetland.

Creates new fines up to $10,000 per day per violation. The fines would be issued by Dept of Ecology.

Would likely replace the Voluntary Stewardship Program.

Creates unfunded mandates for farmers, all affected landowners and the counties.

This bill is the most unscientific, damaging piece of legislation ever to be imposed on Skagit County's and Washington State's farmland and agriculture industry.  It is basically an unconstitutional power land grab.  We have seen no accountability to the millions of tax dollars already wasted on past fish habitat projects.  Where is the proof that these buffer projects will actually reduce stream temperature and enhance salmon populations?  The Washington State Supreme Court, with the guidance of an expert scientific witness on critical areas buffers, has already spoken and ruled that Skagit County is adequately protecting the county's critical areas.  The Justices clearly relied on the expertise of their expert witness on the laws of thermodynamics.  These thermodynamic laws indicate that stream temperature is strongly influenced by air and land temperature, water velocity and elevation drop.

Bill Sponsors:

Debra Lekanoff(D), Joe Fitzgibbon (D), Jessica Bateman (D), Liz Berry (D), Nicole Macri (D), Alex Ramel (D), Tarra Simmons (D), Gerry Pollet (D), Kirsten Harris-Talley (D)

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