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Lacy Gray Tree Farmer Of The Year Award & Illegal Water Use
by Lacy Gray, click here for bio

Program: Washington Ag Today
Date: November 22, 2013

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Tree Farmer Of The Year Award & Illegal Water Use

 

I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

 

Ken and Bonnie Miller, owners of Miller’s Tree Farm located near Olympia, were recipients of the 2013 Washington State Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year award at last week’s 105th annual meeting of the Washington Forest Protection Association. In accepting the award Miller spoke of how after twenty-three years their forest now looks pretty good with over eighty acres total. He also also talked about how they as small family tree farmers give back to the industry and their community, persistently working on their social license to manage and harvest.

 

MILLER: We’ve hosted joint events with Audubon to build bird feeders and nest boxes, a do-it-yourself presentation at the Fall Forestry Seminar, (and) we continue to host two to three forest related events every year. We actively support forest and fish and all forest related organizations and committees.

 

When asked if any of their grandchildren will want to continue the tree farming legacy Miller has this response.

 

MILLER: We’re hopeful, but it’s going to be a hard sell without more public respect and appreciation for what tree farmers do.

 

Farrah Wardenaar has been fined $59 thousand by the Washington State Department of Ecology for illegally irrigating cropland near Royal City. Wardenaar illegally irrigated three crops with artificially stored groundwater pumped from the Federal Bureau of Reclamation’s Columbia Basin Project. In total, more than 100 acre-feet of water were pumped and applied outside the authorized location. Wardenaar was offered technical assistance by Ecology in 2012 to correct the violation, however Wardenaar continued the illegal irrigation even after Ecology issued an order to stop. Wardenaar has thirty days to appeal the penalty to the Pollution Control Hearings Board.

 

That’s Washington Ag Today.

 

I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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