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<br />In the specific area of Forest Practices the SMP repeatedly requires that landowners comply with a <br />4. <br /> <br />document called the Forest and Fish Report. This is not a regulatory document and I can find nothing in <br />the RCWs or WAC that makes it so. It is a management plan and agreement between various state <br />agencies, environmental group and the tribes, the implementation of which is codified in the Forest <br />Practices Regulations and legislation. Including its recommendations as compliance requirements in the <br />SMP not only undermines the state's legitimate regulatory process as embodied in various RCWs and <br />reflected by the Forest Practices Act and WAC 222 (Forest Practices Rules) it places county staff in the <br />position of making decisions on individual cases based on their interpretation of the intent rather than <br />the explicit wording of the forest practices law, it also places upon landowners a responsibility of <br />complying with recommendations of the Forest and Fish Report that have not been found to be possible <br />or practical and therefore have not been adopted by either the RCW or WAC. Use of the Forest and Fish <br />Report as a regulatory requirement in the SMP is inappropriate, is likely to result in unnecessary <br />litigation should it ever be exercised, undermines established democratic processes for adopting rules <br />and legislation, and is unnecessary. It should be removed from the SMP. <br /> <br />Required buffers and setbacks are unrelated to logical risk. Thus for example a landowner with 20 acres <br />5. <br /> <br />of forest and 500 feet of river frontage is required to leave 30% of his most valuable acreage in a natural <br />vegetative state, which in many cases will be brush and blackberries. Though provisions exist within the <br />SMP for the landowner to exercise some management and use of this “no touch or touch only with <br />government oversight and approval” zone, the hoops that he must go through are so extensive as to deter <br />all but the most conscientious and determined of landowners. The majority will either ignore the <br />regulation and do what they think is necessary, or ignore the stream side portion of the property itself <br />and find other, less desirable, uses for enjoying the property, such as turning upland areas into horse <br />pasture or ATV riding trails. Surely this regulation could have been written in a way that would not <br />discourage landowners, who are in my experience the best stewards of their land, from exercising <br />stewardship over it. <br /> <br />The Department of Ecology has made a substantial investment in the Jefferson County SMP. In fact, the <br />6. <br /> <br />$670,000 in grants directly connected with the Jefferson County SMP is one of the largest such <br />investment, on a per capita basis, that DOE has made in SMP development statewide. Everyone who <br />lives in Jefferson County understands the environmental treasures that we have here. We also <br />understand that the vast majority of those treasures are already protected in Federal land, commercial <br />forest and land use regulations that severely restrict development. Supporting documents for the SMP <br />suggest that approximately $360 has been spent for each of the parcels that might one day have a <br />substantial effect on shoreline functions and values. This, was done at an unknown cost to landowners, <br />their property values, and in total disregard to the safeguards that were already in place under the <br />existing SMP and a host of other regulations. What was the real justification for this expenditure of <br />taxpayer money? Was it to protect a pristine environmental area in danger of collapse, which was <br />already well protected by zoning and other regulations? Was it a way to distribute state money to a small <br />county with budget problems? Or was it a way to purchase a “Model Shoreline Master Plan” which <br />would serve as an example, however extreme, of the precautionary approach to shoreline protection. <br /> <br /> <br />Respectfully Submitted, <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />William A. Wheeler <br /> <br />Fair Lea Tree Farm <br /> <br />222 Big Leaf Lane <br /> <br />Quilcene, WA 98376 <br /> <br /> <br />The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail. Get busy. <br />2 <br />