Washington - Another Federal Land Grab

By Tracy Oetting
for Sierra Times


Index, Washington - Another Federal land grab is about to happen in Washington state. The feds are wanting to take 100,000 acres called "Wild Sky" in the Cascade Mountain range around the town of Index, about 60 miles east of Seattle.
Senators Patty Murray (D) and Maria Cantwell (D) have sponsored a bill in Congress called Wilderness Bill. They want to rezone the 100,000 acres into wilderness area. Representatives Jennifer Dunn (R) and Rick Larsen (D) are behind the push and are supported by Seattle based enviornmental organizations.

This bill which is expected to pass the Senate will limit access to 70,000 acres in the lowlands of Snohomish County. The Forest Service is busily dismantling bridges, roads and culverts. It will cost taxpayers millions in job loss and clean up in mudslides and damage to salmon runs. Elected government officals have held three quiet public hearings in the area and have not produced environmental impact studies or letters of the thousands of people they claim support the rezoning effort

If a land grab were to happen the surrounding towns of Index, and Gold Bar are at a higher risk of fire danger due to no forest managemnt because the roads have been dismantled therefore fire fighting can only be done by air.

The impact of another land grab will be felt in the loss of jobs, and the local economy.

Snohomish County Councilmen John Koster, Gary Nelson and Jeff Sax have called for a local Congressional Hearing. For more information contact Councilman John Koster at John.Koster@ co.snohomish.wa.us


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