Opinions on land use? Speak up

I am really writing to the people of this county because we are at a

critical junction here in Grays Harbor. I received an email on

Thursday, May 24, that says that we are having a public hearing at 2 p.m.

on June 11, 2012, to update our Critical Areas Ordinance. This hearing

is in response to a law suit filed against Grays Harbor county because the county did

not bring the last update to the minimum standards required by the


I have been involved in this process since 1997. In March of that year

I was hired by the county to do a land use inventory for the update of

our comprehensive development plan. I spoke with many of the people

all over the county during my seven months of contracting with them. I

then was invited back as a volunteer in 1999 to help facilitate at the

public input meetings held throughout the county. What I heard during

these times from the people who live here was they wanted their

agricultural and forest land protected and preserved, their roads in

good repair and their quality of life preserved. There was a general

distrust of the county government that also came out loud and clear at

that time. So here we are in 2012 doing an update that still does

nothing to protect and preserve our working forests. I have watched as

the issue of the Wild Olympics Campaign brought out people to keep our

working forests working. If you really want to keep our working

forests working then you need to write a letter to the county

commissioners now and demand action that will preserve and protect our

working forest land for the future in this update. It is through our

critical areas ordinance and our zoning laws that we can make this a

reality and only by standing together at this hour will we get this


I really need your help now in order to help us all keep

the working forests working. I have brought this issue up all along

the way at all kinds of meetings here for so many years including this

one and without your help it will again fall by the wayside. Why,

because the county is only required to designate the forest land, not

protect it. So again they want to do the minimum. We have protected

our ag land since back in the early 1990’s. It was not required then

but the people wanted it done and it got done.

I have given my time now for years staying involved in the process,

going to several years of update meetings as many were scheduled

during times when most people were at work. If I don’t get as many of

you as I can involved at this time it could be another 7 to 10 years

before this opportunity comes along again.

How much more working

forest land do you think we will lose in that time?

Well, June 11 is my birthday and I can think of no better present then

to have you all come and stand up with me and demand that the

government do what the people want them to do, let’s get this

accomplished because if we stick together it will get done. See you on

June 11, 2 p.m. at the County Commissioners meeting room in Montesano.

If you cannot be there then write a letter and ask to have it read

into the record.

Teri Franklin