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Author Topic: Preservationist Land Theft  (Read 928 times)

Offline Sundance

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Preservationist Land Theft
« on: February 03, 2023, 01:54:05 PM »
Death by a thousand cuts.

A phrase that hunters, anglers, foragers, and all other consumptive user groups are all-too familiar with. Once again preservationist special interest groups are on the attack to limit opportunity within Washington State, however this time they have taken a more direct approach- land theft. Itís an extremely well-placed agenda, rather than limit means of take they aim to reclassify public lands to exclude consumptive user groups and limit state management practices.

Recent updates to DNRís (Department of Natural Resources) Trust Land Transfer Program have made it possible for public lands to be transferred to other public agencies. In some cases, the DNR Trust Lands are transferred to WDFW, as was recently seen with 100+ acres of Mason County land at the head the Hood Canal/Union River. In this case however, the preservationist group Kitsap Environmental Coalition (KEC) has pressured legislators and the DNR office to transfer 700+ acres of State Lands into a county park.

The 700 acres of land makes up two parcels in North Kitsap County and has traditionally been open to all recreational user groups. With this proposed land transfer, the state would be losing direct management capacity to the area which is home to wetlands, ponds, big timber, and headwaters of Carpenter and Grovers creek. The diverse landscape is home to blacktail deer, bobcat, cougar, coyote, migratory birds, beaver, river otter, and several other species. This proposed land transfer would directly impact hunters, anglers, and foragers by excluding them from access for consumptive use.

Initially there were public concerns that the land would be sold to developers or potentially being used for timber harvest. Make no mistake, groups like KEC are fully aware that by proposing the land transfer to Kitsap County Parks not only are they preventing timber harvest, but they are also pushing out consumptive user groups. Two birds, one stone.

I urge all members to contact the state representatives listed below in opposition to this proposed land transfer. If the DNR should determine that the above-mentioned lands be of greater value for conservation and recreation, then the DNR should strongly consider a transfer to WDFW and not Kitsap County Parks.

Senator Christine Rolfes (23rd District Kitsap County)             Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov
Representative Tarra Simmons (23rd District Kitsap County)    Tarra.Simmons@leg.wa.gov
Representative Drew Hansen (23rd District Kitsap County)      drew.hansen@leg.wa.gov
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz                              cpl@dnr.wa.gov

Offline Sundance

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Re: Preservationist Land Theft
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2023, 02:07:07 PM »
"On July 21, 2022, the Washington State Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Conservation Northwest v. Commissioner of Public Lands, the ďAll the PeopleĒ case. While the Court confirmed the trust mandate under which the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) operates, the Court found that the State has great latitude in how it is carried out. The DNR is under no obligation to maximize revenue from logging, and has multiple ways it can create benefits for beneficiaries and the broader public."

This is from the Kitsap Enviromental Coalition webpage. They (Preservationist groups) have effectively sued the Commissioner of Public lands into no longer managing DNR lands for timber revenue which creates a lost profit for the state. This in turn makes the pathway easier for land transfers, which can be used to exclude consumptive user groups from utilizing public lands. If they can slowly reclassify public lands to exclude hunters, anglers, foragers then why bother continuing to attack the means of harvest? If there is no public land left to hunt, then the matter of spring bear hunting, trapping, or cougar hunting becomes obsolete.

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Re: Preservationist Land Theft
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2023, 03:24:38 PM »
They didn't win the suit. The court ruled against them and said DNR could do what DNR thought best. It is obvious, however, that the group haven't learned much by the forest fires currently sweeping the West each summer and how the absence of logging for 35+ years on Federal lands has made them unhealthy. Preservationists seem very ignorant regarding forest management.  :dunno:
"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals and madmen will have no positive effect on the future acts of criminals and madmen. It will only serve to reduce individual rights and the very security of our republic." - Pianoman

Offline Sundance

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Re: Preservationist Land Theft
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2023, 04:34:19 PM »
I caught wind of this particular issue while skimming through my community newspaper. It would irritate me to no end to show up to a piece of public land where I've recreated in the past only to discover it's been reclassified as a park and I cannot hunt/fish/trap/forage there anymore. Hopefully raising concerns can keep this open to all user groups, KEC has been very active in the past with excluding consumptive user groups from public land discussion/acquisitions.

Offline timberfaller

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Re: Preservationist Land Theft
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2023, 04:37:22 PM »
They didn't win the suit. The court ruled against them and said DNR could do what DNR thought best. It is obvious, however, that the group haven't learned much by the forest fires currently sweeping the West each summer and how the absence of logging for 35+ years on Federal lands has made them unhealthy. Preservationists seem very ignorant regarding forest management.  :dunno:

 :yeah: but that not the worst of it!! YET!
The only good tree, is a stump!

Offline Birdguy

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Re: Preservationist Land Theft
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2023, 06:38:59 PM »
Worse yet, most of our county parks are already extremely short on funding. Parks are vandalized constantly, covered in goose poop, being overrun with blackberries. I am sure they need another 700 acres to seek more money to access. Super disappointing.

 


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