October 25, 2016
Meeting was called to order at 7:34am. Paul Gottlieb led the flag salute.
Dr. Luke Robbins, before introducing the program made several announcements: Peninsula College Men’s and women’s soccer teams made it to the Divisional finals. He was proud to announce he attended the grand opening of the Peninsula College Port Townsend Campus.
Steve Bierman announced the CRTC open house on Tuesday, November 1st, from 4:30 to 7: 30pm, at the Center.
John Brewer said past PABA President, City Councilman, and Heritage Tour Leader, Don Perry had passed away. A sympathy card is being sent around for all to sign.
Hilary Franz and Steve McLaughlin, candidates for State Commissioner of Public Lands were introduced.
Mr. McLaughlin said he was born in Washington, graduated from the University of Oregon, went on to become a Naval Commander and a firefighter instructor. His two interests are to be a manager of State Trust Lands and to see that the state has healthy working forests. He will put his leadership skills to use to work on morale problems at the DNR.
Hilary Franz traced her family history from farming in South Dakota, to raising ponderosa pine to general farming here in this state. She said she would call upon her background as an environmental attorney to help her in her work. Setting up the first water bank in the state and emphasizing grape growing deepen her interest in public lands. She is concerned about diseased trees and hopes that select burning and thinning will help. She sees her working knowledge of natural resource economic development as a plus when working with Chambers and other agencies. She is a proponent of clean energy and recreational use of land.
Steve said agricultural leases of over a million acres are bringing in lower prices due to depressed economy in China. He will work to prorate leases and consider margin that farmers are working under now. He does not support appointing more consultants and advisors who would stay in Olympia. He said local people such as at PABA, Chambers, farmers, etc. could be used in those positions.
Hilary suggested that small non-producing parcels of land be sold for the revenue.
Q & A Period
Kaj: How will State fill its mandated allotment of allowable cut timber?
SM: Arrearage results in unhealthy forests and reduces access for recreation. Cutting will put people to work and draw investments back to the State. Poor forest practice reduces management, especially in coastal areas. Job money helps tax base in Counties.
HF: State should work on producing and manufacturing interests. Washington is behind in arrearage problem. She will work to see it does not happen again. Department needs to meet its trust obligations while manufacturing more and yet still complying with State and Federal laws.
Jim McEntire: Assessment of 1.4 million acres, especially west of the Cascades?
HF: Need to go back, reevaluate Endangered Species Act. Was it right in the first place? The Science Report, which has been 20 years in the making, needs to be finished and published.
SM: An audit of all State Trust Lands and DNR needs to be done. 53% of Trust Lands are set aside now. Lawsuits and Litigation. as done by his opponent, hamstring getting anything done.
Laurel Black: Seattle Time article on the “Potential of Port Angeles”. Can you have scenic beauty and timber harvesting?
SM: Praised Port Angeles’s weather, saying it was the clean air that helps scrub the area. “Work basket of the World” since area grows wood faster than any other place in the world. “Viewscape” Clear cutting brings in light and moisture thus helping faster growth.
HF: Businesses, especially construction should be from local products. Recreation “scenicscape” . Let other Counties know what your have.
Ed Chadd: State has lost millions of acres of working forests and farms. Families are losing access to lands. State should be thinking of future generations. What do you feel about public ownership.
SM: Public ownership provides recreation, forest practices. grazing and revenue for taxing districts. Taking control of public lands helps educate those who live in urban areas.
HF: Alternative to traditional harvest that is not used now. Biomass, Laminated timber. Mills Use all of the produce so there is no waste. Get banks to invest in mills. Change laws.
SM: DNR needs to change policies. State might do a better job than Counties can. State has many surveyors, foresters, etc. so don’t need to hire locally.
JM: Unemployment rate is high? What can DNR do to help? What about a Department of Rural Washington?
SM: Ecology and Law suits are having a negative impact on rural economics. Need to reverse those lawsuits.
HF: Rural economies have been left behind. Entire State needs to work with rural areas. DNR does not seem to want to work with other State Departments and Agencies.
HF: She is committed to Aqua, Agra and Forests. Will work with others. She is working with Futurewise to bring back working forests and farms. She did not start the lawsuits, she is only working to settle the cases that had built up before she starting working for them.
SM: He brings 35 years of Leadership. He solved a global crisis. Knows Disaster management. Stewardship. Committed to education. “Democracy does not belong the court room”.
Meeting adjourned at 8:50am.