The Riparian Area Protection Ordinance, Acquisition and Relocation, 'For the Public Good'
by Sharon Shumate
Ferry County, WA - 11/8/02
Riparian Area Protection Ordinance - Fish & Wildlife Conservation Area. What do these words really mean?
Riparian is not in the dictionary, so I guess it can mean anything anyone wants it to. Protect - Protection - to shield from danger; defend.
Ordinance - A county statute or regulation
Conserve - To keep from damage, lost or saved. Conservation - The official care or management of natural resources, (Fish & Wildlife?)
Now let's go back to this Ordinance designating private property Fish & Wildlife Conservation Areas encompassing 50 to 100 feet on each and every side of any waters (or possible waters) in Ferry County.
Conservation - The official care or management of natural resources - Fish & Wildlife. Who are the officials? I would think it would be Fish & Wildlife Agents. Isn't that their job? To protect the fish and wildlife of the State of Washington.
Now let's add the word habitat. What does that mean? The region where a plant or animal naturally lives. Put it all together -it means fish, wildlife, plants and their habitat will be protected.
I have this little booklet entitled A Profile of Land Protection Actions By the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1999, that states, "The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service acquires lands for the conservation of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats...The Service's land-protection policy is to acquire land only when other means of protection (e.g. zoning or regulation to achieve program goals) are not appropriate, available, or effective."
Now in my mind, The Riparian Area Protection Ordinance is a regulation, is it not? If we can convince the commissioners not to sign this regulation - Ordinance - we can get paid for acquisition of our lands, our ranches, our businesses, our residences and our farms.
Another little booklet entitled Relocation Assistance For Owners, Tenants and Businesses states on page 1-2, "The acquisition itself does not need to be federally funded for the rules to apply. If Federal funds are used in any phase of the program or project, the rules apply to Federal, State and Local government agencies (and certain private persons)." I'm sure that the State has received money from the Federal Government for Salmon Recovery, Watershed Planning and Growth Management. This money is then given to the counties to implement these projects.
Page 1-6 "When a government Agency (County, State) begins to acquire private property for public use, (FOREST & FISH REPORT and its regulations, RIPARIAN AREA PROTECTION, Growth Management Act and its regulations) the first personal contact with you, the property owner, should be no later than during the appraisal of the property."
Part Two - Introduction - Page 2-1 - "In a Changing America, government programs designed to benefit the public as a whole often result in acquisition of private property, and sometimes in the displacement of people from the residences, businesses or farms."
Now we get into the good part. Relocation Assistance - Moving Costs - Replacement Housing Payments (replacement housing has to be Decent, Safe and Sanitary) - Purchase Supplements - Incidental Expenses - Rental Assistance - Displaced Persons Allowance and last but not least - Housing of Last Resort. It's a very complicated formula as to what we receive - However, we do get paid!
Now if we can just convince the county government (our commissioners and planning departments) to not take private property for conservation of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitat, through rules and regulations - ORDINANCES - we can all get paid - not just the county government.
Myself, I am going to try to convince our County Commissioners to NOT sign this ordinance designating private property Fish & Wildlife Conversation Areas. This Ordinance will relinquish the Federal Government of responsibility for taking my private property for the public good and I would really like to get paid for that, contributions to: The Public Good.
Quotations From: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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