Agreement Reached with the Dept of Natural Resources to Start Over (with full stakeholder process) Regarding Work on a Potential HCP for Overwater Structures, Log Booming
Critical for Members and Yacht Club and Community Boating Club owners to know – there should not be any attempt to require HCP-type provisions through leases or lease renewals!
On Monday, March 16, a coalition of interests working with key state legislators reached an agreement with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lands Commissioner, Commissioner Goldmark, to essentially “put down” the draft Habitat Conservation Plan sections related to overwater structures and log booming, and to start those fresh from scratch with a full and thorough stakeholder process.
Why hasn't the full HCP been put down? It is because aquaculture and shellfish interests in fact want to have their HCP work with the DNR move ahead, thus that part of the HCP will stay in play while ours undergoes a do-over and is started from scratch.
RBAW is very proud of this outcome, as it marks a very stark and significant change from last November, when the DNR appeared bound and determined to move ahead with this HCP. Late in 2014 and at the beginning of 2015, we formed an alliance with NMTA and the Washington Public Ports Association that grew to include the American Waterway Operators, individual ports, the Washington Forest Protection Association, Weyerhaeuser, wood preserving industries, the Association of Washington Business, the Washington State Farm Bureau, and others.
We also would not have achieved the progress we did without key legislators, including those who prime-sponsored Senate Bill 5959 (Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond/19th Dist.) and House Bill 2069 (Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee Chair Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen/19th Dist.). Many other legislators were extremely helpful in this endeavor, among them Senate Natural Resources Committee Chair Kirk Pearson (R-Monroe/39th Dist.) and Majority Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville/9th Dist.), and Representatives such as J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm/2nd Dist.), Vincent Buys (R-Lynden/42nd Dist.), Norma Smith (R-Clinton/10th Dist.), and Kristine Lytton (D-Mount Vernon/40th Dist.).
ESB 5959 ultimately passed off the Senate Floor, and HB 2069 had a successful public hearing and would have moved if not for the progress of 5959. RBAW testified at both Senate and House hearings, through the very fine work of 1st Vice President Wayne Gilham and 2nd VP Drew Erickson.
Click here for the formal letter transmitted to us by Commissioner Goldmark (via the Public Ports and their Executive Director).
As this full stakeholder process begins – one that will involve a representative or representatives of the RBAW, there is one very important message we need to get out to the full RBAW Membership, and most importantly to those of you who have Aquatic Lands leases with the DNR. It is as follows:
Please make sure there is not any “in the field” attempt to impose HCP conditions on an existing lease, a lease renewal, or a proposed new lease agreement;
If you encounter any effort by a DNR representative to impose new or additional requirements outside current law and beyond existing WACs and Sec. 7 consultation agreements (ESA), it is important that you “push back” against such attempts;
Please contact the RBAW immediately if you believe you are being subject to unfair or unwarranted conditions in connection with your lease. You can e-mail President Paul Thorpe at Paul.Thorpe@comcast.net, 1st VP Wayne Gilham at Wgilham@harbornet.com, or RBAW Lobbyist Doug Levy at Levy4@msn.com.
This provides the basic information regarding the re-set of the HCP process on overwater structures. All of us at RBAW are very proud to know that our time, work, and efforts made a difference!