Buffer Bill Input Pt 2

Buffer Bill Input Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. In an effort to find out more about WHO was being asked for input while creating last year’s “Buffer Bill,” requiring riparian buffers on agricultural land, the Washington Policy Center’s Director of Ag Research, Pam Lewison filed a public records request.

What she found, in the first batch of documents, didn’t seem to jibe with claims from those behind the bill that EVERYONE involved was being asked …

LEWISON … “And in the 251 calendar notifications that I got, in this first batch of my requests, there were only two that were very obviously from ag representation, which seems like that a lot compared to 251 total.”

And since everybody in this state has to eat, Lewison says ag deserves more of a say…

LEWISON … “You know, I would argue that while ag is, you know, effectively 1% of the population in Washington state, we need to have more than 1% of the voice in a discussion that’s going to take away huge swaths of land that’s currently in food production.”

Lewison says is expecting more documents by early summer …

LEWISON … “You know, the first batch was almost 30,000 records that I combed through regarding everything from the Lower Snake River dams to buffers for salmon habitat and other requests that had, you know, the key words that I asked for.”

Lewison believes, unfortunately, that agriculture might be getting used to having policy made FOR THEM without being asked.

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