LEGISLATIVE DAYS: An opportunity to get educated and involved in Olympia

from Scott Dilley
Washington Farm Bureau


We encourage you to register for Legislative Days immediately.

Leg Days is scheduled for February 3-4. The timing is perfect, as the cutoff date for getting bills out of the policy committee is the following Friday (Feb. 6).

To register, you may simply reply to this email, with the registration information filled out below.

RMAP, property taxes, unemployment, workers' comp., water, growth management, cougar management, trapping, regulatory reform and a host of other issues are in motion this session!

We will also have an unprecedented candidate forum, featuring candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, U.S. House, and Attorney General!

Director of Agriculture Valoria Loveland and Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders will be featured speakers, along with the legislative chairs of labor, water, land use, and agriculture committees.

This could be our most power-packed Legislative Agenda ever! See the registration info below and register right away!

There will be a work session held jointly on the implementation of RMAPs, 2HSB 1095, by the Senate Natural Resources Committee and the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, January 21 in Senate Hearing room 4. Section 12 of 2HSB 1095 required that DNR present the implementation of the act, including checklist preparation and meaning of words in 76.09 and 76.13 RCW. This work session is to allow DNR to meet that requirement by presenting their rules and the checklist to the committees.

Testimony is not generally taken during work sessions of committees, as they are typically pre-arranged panels briefing the committees on certain issues. Large crowds are not called for in this instance and hearings may be held at a later date. The committee briefing is open to the public; you are welcome to attend. We will provide an update in later RMAP Updates and Legisletters.

" The new rules betray forest owners and the legislative process, " said Steve Appel, president of Washington Farm Bureau. " Farm Bureau will continue to work for a fix that satisfies small forest landowners. "

from the January 2004 Farm Bureau News

New rules betray forest owners, legislative process

By Steve Appel

Small forest landowners and the Legislature have been betrayed by the Forest Practices Board.

Last spring, the Legislature directed the Forest Practices Board to rewrite the onerous and potentially costly rules governing Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plans for small forest landowners.

Legislators gave the board very clear directions. The board was to adopt rules that exempted small forest landowners from any RMAP obligations beyond submitting a simple checklist if and when they applied for a forest practices permit. In other words, no RMAP obligations until the property owner decided to harvest some trees.

The Legislature also decided that public funds should be used to replace any culverts that don ' t allow fish passage if the culverts were properly installed under an approved forest practices application and hydraulics permit. In other words, if a culvert was legal when it went in, the small forest landowner should not bear the cost of replacing it now that the rules have been changed.

But, instead of following the Legislature ' s directions, the Forest Practices Board left out some key language, slipped in a 2016 deadline for replacing culverts, and inserted wording that the lawmakers never intended.

In a letter sent to Public Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland, 13 state legislators accused the Forest Practices Board of a "blatant disregard of our intent and express words in House Bill 1095."

Instead of providing relief from RMAP rules, which was the intent of HB 1095, the lawmakers said the board "added to (its) power and authority to regulate small forest landowners."

The board ' s actions were even more egregious and bizarre considering that the Legislature approved HB 1095 unanimously - 49-0 in the Senate and 96-0 in the House.
There was nothing ambiguous in what the Legislature said, nevertheless the Forest Practices Board deliberately disregarded the directions it was given.

As Hertha Lund, our natural resources specialist, asked the Senate Natural Resources Committee last month, "What do we tell the small guys out there who thought that working (through) the public process would give them some relief?"

The first thing the Legislature must do is to let the Forest Practices Board know that it ' s not happy with the way it disregarded its directions.

The second thing is to invalidate the regulations and order the Forest Practices Board to do it again - the right way.
Boards and commissions are not free to ignore laws passed by our elected representatives, which what the Forest Practices Board is trying to do.

That ' s arrogant. It ' s wrong. And the Legislature needs to remind the board that it has to follow the rules as well as make them.

Steve Appel is a wheat grower in Whitman County and president of the Washington Farm Bureau. To respond to this column, send an e-mail to the Washington Farm Bureau <mailto:dboyer@wsfb.com.

Washington Farm Bureau
Legislative Days
Feb 3-4. 2004
Red Lion Hotel, Olympia

Registration $50.00 Per Person.
(Includes meeting materials, two lunches, and Legislative Banquet)
Registration return deadline is January 28, 2004
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Make check payable to Washington Farm Bureau.

Room Reservations:
Please contact the Red Lion Hotel at 360-943-4000 for room reservations. Room rates are $89:00 plus tax for single or double occupancy. Reservations must be made ASAP, as the room block has been released and room availability is not guaranteed.
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Mail to: Washington Farm Bureau, P.O. Box 2009,
Olympia, WA 98507, or fax to: 360-357-9939.
Registrations must be returned to Washington Farm
Bureau by Wednesday, January 28, 2004.
Additional questions?
Call Scott Dilley at 1-800-331-3276 or e-mail: sdilley@wsfb.com


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