Raspberry Challenges Pt 2

Raspberry Challenges Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Following a rough year for raspberry production, growers are dealing with plenty of challenges moving ahead to next year and beyond.

One of those, according to Henry Bierlink, executive director at the Washington Red Raspberry Commission, has to do with water rights in Whatcom County’s Nooksack Water Basin …

BIERLINK … “This adjudication, which is what the state is insisting we need to do up here, is, we’ve been adamant that that is the wrong approach. In itself it’s the wrong approach. If it’s tied in with a lot of other things that we can do, there may be an argument for it.”

But, Bierlink says on its own …

BIERLINK … “Adjudication itself, just strictly on its own, will destroy agriculture here. And, we’re pretty clear about that and have been making that argument, and I think it’s being heard.”

Bierlink says it’s still not a done-deal …

BIERLINK … “We came out very strongly against adjudication. We are still against adjudication, but we are also recognizing that if the dye is cast, that’s it’s going to happen, how do we develop something along side it, you know, in terms of negotiations, other things that we deal with that help make that less onerous.”

Do I detect a hint of optimism? …

BIERLINK … “There are days, like I say, that it looks positive, and there are others days, a little less so.”

Those opposed to adjudication, like the raspberry growers, are asking for more time to negotiate.

When and if parties agree on a settlement, this can be submitted to the adjudication court.

Previous ReportRaspberry Challenges Pt 1
Next ReportPush for Disaster Relief Pt 1