Dairy Farmers Settle With Lummi Nation
RICH APPEL ... "We've been meeting with the Lummi Nation for about a year and a half. We were talking on a broader scale of water negotiations that they wanted a settlement dealing with water rights, in-stream flows, a lot of these things that are kind of unsettled. And at that meeting they informed us they were planning on suing several of our Whatcom County dairymen over pollution in Portage Bay which has closed the shellfish beds there."
Dairy farmer Rich Appel says the threat of a lawsuit started the next phase of negotiations ...
RICH APPEL ... "So at that time, we started talks with them to see if there was something else that we could do, an alternate path. And we negotiated for about a year and a half and we really didn't get anywhere until the Tribal Chairman Tim Ballew stepped in in October. And he said that he wanted to become be personally involved in the negotiations and would take the lead role. And after he got involved, we requested that the negotiating team be paired down to four farmers and four members of the Lummi Business Council."
Appel says after meeting 2-3 times a week in the smaller teams, the group reached a settlement.
Listen tomorrow for more on the settlement and what it means moving forward.