Clallam officials hear arrearage report: Murrelet, staffing, riparian zones faulted


A recipe for disaster. First a recession hits and decimates the DNR staff. Now they have staff, but their turnover is so high that few have more than 3 years of experience. The DNR rep talks about ‘hemorrhaging staff’ during a period where we hear about needing good jobs in the rural areas.  DNR sets targets before they even knew what their own scientists would allow under the Endangered species act (ESA), then blame the protections for not meeting the targets (DNR Chief Peter Goldmark is up for re-election. Is there another Democrat willing to run against him? ) DNR blames the Marbled Murrelet but I see no data that actually shows how much timber is off the table because of the ESA. Then the local Republican officials blame the starved agencies for not doing their job, and want the land management handed back to a county that cannot afford to manage it themselves. So the land will eventually be sold off to private corporations that feed the politicians in the local back rooms.

There is no questioning apparently of the statements by the DNR spokesperson on his assessment, blaming the Murrelet plan. For example, could it possibly be that there is a glut of wood on the market, and the price is low, so that the value of harvesting, especially if having to go through a complex plan is not worth it? Is it the plan’s fault, or the market’s? Over and over again, I see environmental concerns blamed for economic downturns, or gluts. Just look at the Spotted Owl controversy. The loggers have never criticized the fact that during the late 70s and early 80s the shift to shipping raw logs happened, supported by Congress and the Presidents, both Democrat and Republican. But the narrative from the industry is that it was all the fault of the spotted owl.

Thanks to former Commissioner Mike Doherty for holding the committee’s feet to the fire over their makeup. Apparently he is concerned with known conflict of interest in the committee.

Mr. Rygaard of Rygaard Logging mentioned wanting to ‘skip the environmental concerns and focus on jobs.’ What do you think got you into this mess in the first place?

The marbled murrelet, riparian zones and staffing levels are the main reasons why the state Department of Natural Resources failed to sell 92 million board feet of timber that was supposed to be sold in Clallam County from 2005 to 2014, a top DNR official told the Clallam County Trust Lands Advisory Committee on Friday. The 20-member panel is gathering information to determine whether Clallam County should reclaim management of 92,525 acres of DNR-managed forest lands in the county. Kyle Blum, DNR deputy supervisor for state uplands, explained the nuances of arrearage from the agency’s point of view in a four-hour, 40-minute meeting at the county courthouse. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20160327/NEWS/303279979/clallam-officials-hear-arrearage-report-murrelet-staffing-riparian

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