Farmers Left Out by Dept. of Ecology Pt 1

Farmers Left Out by Dept. of Ecology Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. Committees making decisions on future water allocations in seven Washington state river basins will be represented by all of the groups impacted, except agriculture ... and that isn't sitting well with the Washington Farm Bureau.

CEO John Stuhlmiller says this was all part of the long process of putting together the "Hirst fix" and was not supposed to be this way, but it's done ...

STUHLMILLER ... "It's done. So, now what our alert is to everybody in the ag community is to follow your process in your county. And, if you don't know, give me a call. But, you need to follow your process and make sure that ag interests and no interests beyond the statute, because several of these committees have been looking at things beyond the statute to make their advice on. And, this was a very carefully constructed, I mean it's split middle, it went right down the center between environmental community interests, tribal interests and ag interests and other interests and growth interests and, it centered it, and now we've got a skewed process potentially because we don't have ag at the table."

Stuhlmiller says there's really no way around it ...

STUHLMILLER ... "There's really no legal remedy. I mean, the legislature wrote the statute, ecology is implementing it and only the legislature can really call them into account."

So, what's next?

STUHLMILLER ... "Pragmatically, the effort now is to just try and make sure that the committees do the best job possible with what their makeup is, but trying to get ag in the room at least to express direction and concerns."

Listen tomorrow for more

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