WA Supreme Court Decision Rules Against Rancher
A week ago the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in a 8 to 1 decision to support Washington State Department of Ecology concerning non-point water quality enforcement. What this means for ranchers and private property owners is that the DOE has the authority to regulate, but doesn’t necessarily have to clearly show the source.
Washington Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Jack Field urges livestock producers to pay attention to any letters or calls they may receive from the DOE regarding water quality issues.
Field: “My hope is that land owners, livestock producers or anybody who may be concerned that they might have a water quality issue that they contact their local Conservation Districts and seek technical assistance or any type of support they may be able to get there. It is important for everybody to understand and realize that they don’t need to try to solve this issue if they have a problem on their own that there is a great network of support at the county, state and national level a variety of programs that can help land owners livestock producers offset impacts.”
Although this decision was not what the livestock community was hoping for, Field says he remains hopeful as that the new Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon has expressed an willingness to work with industry to address water quality issues.