Farm Bureau forms technical committee for RMAP
7/1/02 - Washington Farm Bureau will form a technical committee to work
with Government Relations staff members as the organization looks ahead
to possible legislation needed to correct problems with the state's Road
Maintenance and Abandonment Plan (RMAP) regulations for small forestland
"With more timberland owners joining Farm Bureau to help in this
cause, we have a wealth of grassroots expertise to call on," said
Washington Farm Bureau President Steve Appel. "This is the strength
of Farm Bureau - the knowledge and experience our members bring to
policy development and providing direction for our professional staff
Joel Kretz, president of the Okanogan County Farm Bureau, which surfaced
the RMAP issue, will chair the advisory committee. Appel will appoint
other committee members this month.
Appel announced the formation of an advisory committee last month at a
special meeting of the state Forest Practices Board, which was called to
hear testimony on the RMAP rules.
Appel told the board that a series of seven Farm Bureau-sponsored
meetings around the state exposed numerous problems with the rules, in
addition to the estimated $375 million cost for private property owners.
Although the state Department of Natural Resources is recommending
administrative or regulatory changes to address some of the problems,
"we believe that many of the basic, underlying problems with RMAP
may need to be addressed by the Legislature in order to provide some
certainty to small timberland owners, to ensure the viability of family
forestry, and to protect property rights," Appel said.
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