CAPR has provided this testimony and comment on HB 1838 which if appropriately titled would read "Establishing takings and ruining private property rights and farming in Washington State"
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights members from both the west and east sides of the state adamantly and absolutely oppose 1838 and its companions in the Senate 5727 and 5665.
The bills should be sidelined and stopped even though the governor has requested them. Explaining all that is wrong with this proposed legislation would take far more than a minute or 2.
1838 and its companions are created to address an alternative reality where if landowners will just give up more of their land and civil rights an abundant salmon food harvest will occur. They ignore stakeholders who should have been engaged, voluntary stewardship programs, and farming families who hold the ideal and responsibilities for their work to produce food for Washingtonians and to steward their land with methods that improve soils and environmental values.
Binding landowners and farmers to unreasonable and unrealistic goals with forced monetary incentives and penalties through the GMA and agencies is only “purchasing submission” to accomplish what cannot be done and to what bears no attachment to the required nexus and proportionality needed to avoid takings and exactions.
If passed the legislation would do what never a landowner has been required to do under law, to “recover, enhance, and achieve abundance for harvest and delisting recovery.” The goals stated in this legislation establish the basis for takings and exactions and a multitude of litigation. Because the goals include federal jurisdiction litigants seeking affirmation of their constitutional rights would not rely only on state courts but also would enter the federal courts where precedence exists that does affirm their rights.
This increasing of salmon population could be accomplished if fishing would cease for three years, yet it is being asked of landowners to permanently and in perpetuity abandon working properties to achieve a goal that is not defined, is not in control of legislators in this state but rather federal agencies and provides an income and cultural values to others while disregarding the income and cultural values of farmers and families.
The timber industry has repeatedly complied with demands over the years, yet the costs of lumber to the consumer has risen steadily and equally as consistently. A significant loss of farmland and working, productive farmers would certainly add to the present crisis of lack of availability of food and food security. Prices for food would escalate hurting needy families the most.
If the stated goals of the legislation are not met, there are no alternatives offered for farmers, fishermen, tribes, or the corporate environmentalists who have thrived with their promotion of deeds that would support salmon. Would the legislature create bills to support these people should learn to code?
Limiting Best Available Science to the tomes of Riparian Ecosystems Volume 1 and 2, or what agencies decide is science is contrary to existing law and prohibits thinking and solutions that would occur outside those limited parameters now and into the future. Why would the sponsors of this legislation want to limit science and solutions?
The bill reads “The committee may develop performance targets and adaptive management thresholds, and recommend changes to rules, regulations, and policies as needed to improve implementation of this act.” This text reads as an unintentional or an intentional misapplication of language but cannot remain in the bill text as written. There are processes in the APA to do these things, which must be applied to this committee, but it must be stated only the legislature has the power to direct agencies to change rules, regulations, or policies.
Many family farms and many family property owners do grow abundant produce to provide and safe, healthy, local food throughout the state, in a time where this food source and security is needed more than ever, a blind eye is turned to their much-needed endeavors to focus only on salmon catch, abundance, and delisting goals.
Much of the work of farming and family sustainability food growing is done by women, the hampering and elimination of their contribution to citizens of Washington state is misogynistic. Women of all ethnicities work hard and proudly in a varied sisterhood that provides for all Washingtonians, yet bill language for the exemption of a single ethnicity, a particular group of Washington citizens, provides a choice for exemption or outright exemption which is not available to other citizens in this overbearing proposed legislation which carries racist undertones.
1838 must not be passed.