Many factors complicate fixing the Hirst Decision, ideology chief among the complicating factors!
Recently, CAPR’s Skagit chapter invited Elaine Willman, nationally renowned author and public speaker, to hold a workshop on water and property rights, specifically in the context of conflicts with tribal governments. Ms Willman, who has written two popular books on that subject, is an expert on federal government and tribal decisions and how they impact land use inside and outside Indian reservations. She also is vocal about threats to constitutional rights for both tribal members and other American citizens.
House Democrat Leadership has produced an alternative Hirst Fix Bill, HB 2239, http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2239.pdf This bill could only be considered a compromise by those not able and willing to do so.
SSB 5239 passed the Senate and now must also pass the House of Representatives and the Governor's desk to become law.
Pocket Gopher have had special status over humans beginning in 2014, when environmental groups pushed the federal government to list them as endangered species. They have been thriving as they always have, but rural life is endangered by the presence of gophers. Thurston County commissioners are trying to inject a little sanity to the unfounded listing of this species of gophers.
By Glen Morgan and Cindy Alia
On October 6, 2016, Futurewise, with the assistance of six Washington State Supreme Court Justices, managed to win the lawsuit lottery. The Supreme Court ruled in Hirst v. W. Washington Growth Management Hearings Board (decision linked here) on a 6-3 vote in favor of Futurewise and against the people. This ruling invented new land use rules approved by no legislature or elected official. This litigious and aggressive environmental NGO funded by wealthy Seattle donors was able to end the historic private well exemption.
5239 is most likely going to be heard in the house before the March 29 deadline to hear bills in the opposite house. Those who understand the devastating loss of property and water rights, loss of the use of their land, and extreme devaluation, often up to 90% of their value, for thousands of families of many counties are working to improve this bill. Those who do not understand this kind of loss are likewise involved. The Hirst decision has also impacted counties and the state in terms of loss of productivity and commerce in their communities along with a drop in tax revenue.
House bill 1692 would allow for marijuana grow operations the status of agricultural activities, this would include the growing and production including products of grow operations the legal protections of any other farm production. The argument for this status is framed as a property right. The problem with that argument is that agricultural status recognizes special needs of the property rights of agricultural activities in terms of methods and means of agriculture and not simply on the basis an agricultural product is something that is grown. Agricultural business is protected from the use of nuisance law if the operation is consistent with good practices and was established prior to surrounding non-agricultural uses unless the activity constitutes a substantial adverse effect on public health and safety. Tradit
We remain resolved and determined to push forward bills to cure the attacks on water rights foisted upon the citizens of Washington State by an out of control environmental cartel. Although the best bills have been stalled in their progress through our legislature, we will continue the fight through this session and into future sessions to restore exempt well rights in response to the supreme court decision commonly known as the Hirst decision...