Skagit Family Farmers Pt 1

Skagit Family Farmers Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. Farmers in the Skagit Valley need your help fending off an attempt by the Swinomish Tribe to gain more say over water and land use on non-tribal properties.

JASON VANDERKOOY ... "The tribe, they're seeking to have more jurisdiction over areas outside of their traditional boundaries. So, we see this as an attempt to kind of give them more power in the court system to have a say over our water and our land use, the way we farm. You know, this that are important to us."

Skagit Family Farmers director Jason Vanderkooy says the proposal could impact various farming activities ...

JASON VANDERKOOY ... "Say on my farm, can I irrigate during the month of July? Then I would need their approval to irrigate. Or, if I wanted to build a new building, they would be included in that. Does that affect their traditional hunting or fishing grounds? So, this just puts another roadblock in things that I need to be a successful farmer."

Vanderkooy says it's been relationship between the tribe and farmers has been strained for decades ...

JASON VANDERKOOY ... "There's always been that conflict between "us" and the Swinomish Tribe. They went after our tide gates. They've been after our irrigation. They tried to go through the courts and force buffers on our land. There's a long history of conflict."

Farmers have until the end of the month to plead their case to the office of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Listen tomorrow and hear more about the timeline and what needs to be done to protect their livelihoods.

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