Buffer Bill Input Pt 1

Buffer Bill Input Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. While some believe progress has been made, a somewhat updated version of the “buffer bill”, requiring riparian buffers around water on agricultural lands, is all but dead in this legislative session.

The Washington Policy Center’s Director of Ag Research, Pam Lewison says after last year’s version of the governor’s buffer bill, this year’s approach to riparian buffers was somewhat better …

LEWISON … “I think this year we’re real fortunate to have Representative Chapman saying, hey, I’m not going to pass anything out of my committee that is not bipartisan and is not supported by the people that are going to be affected by it.”

And that, Lewison says didn’t seem to go over too well …

LEWISON … “That, in turn, caused some hurt feelings, maybe, from the Governor’s office. And so, I wanted to just see maybe what the thought process was and what it looked like.”

So, Lewison says she put in a public records request to try and find out where they were getting their feedback to put the bill together …

LEWISON … “We have been told, time and again, you know, we reached out to everybody. We reached out to farmers. We reached out to the tribes. We reached out to business entities and all sorts of things.”

Something, Lewison says didn’t seem right …

LEWISON … “If rural and agricultural communities are bearing the burden of salmon recovery entirely, on their own, and at their own expense I might add, were they really asked about what they thought of it?”

Tune in tomorrow for more on “Buffer Bill” input.

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