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.