Washington Farm Bureau RMAP Update
News release from WA State Farm Bureau
Olympia, WA - On April 9, 2003, the Senate passed a Farm Bureau-supported Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plans bill unanimously, 49-0. The legislation (2SHB 1095) was modified in the Senate to address Farm Bureau’s remaining concerns. Senators Bob Morton (R-Kettle Falls), Mark Doumit (D-Cathlamet) and Jim Hargrove (D-Hoquiam) worked to develop language that would truly provide relief for small forest landowners. Farm Bureau also worked with representatives from Washington Farm Forestry, Weyerhauser, Washington Forest Protection Association, Department of Natural Resources and Audubon Society.
This is huge victory for small forest landowners. In meetings held across the state last summer, Farm Bureau outlined our concerns with RMAP requirements:
· The requirement of small forest landowners to complete an RMAP;
· The definition of “forest road”;
· The definition of “forest land”;
· The potential cost of RMAP ($7,700 per mile of forest road; at least $20,000 per culvert replacement); and,
· The requirement to apply RMAP standards to roads not used for logging.
Farm Bureau’s goal was to protect small forest landowners in these ways:
· “Eliminate the unfair and discriminatory financial and regulatory burdens being placed on private property owners by RMAP.”
· “Protect property rights and civil liberties.”
The legislation passed by the Senate will:
· Eliminate the unfair and discriminatory financial and regulatory burdens that RMAP placed on small forest landowners.
· Redefine “forest road” and “forestland” in a manner that limits the application of RMAPs.
· Allow those who harvest less than two million board feet on the average over three years to only submit a checklist when they harvest for where they harvest.
· Provide cost-sharing for many culverts that may need to be replaced.
· Provide a cap on the cost that a landowner may be required to pay for the replacement of culverts.
· Provide 100 percent of the cost of culvert replacement if the culvert was installed with a Forest Practice permit and hydraulics approval and that culvert becomes a high priority for fish passage in a watershed.
· Not provide any additional right of entry for any government agency or others.
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