The web site: http://trojanheron.blogspot.com/ does a fantastic job of education. The recent article Why The CAO Will Pass, by Dr. Kenneth R. Sinibaldi was informative.
Also, the link from this web site to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W147ybOdgpE and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkmQZjZSjk4&feature=related gives one insight into why our County Council and County Staff behave the way they do (being obedient to directives from others they perceive have authority over them).
This is why we must use the tool of Coordination to protect the welfare of our community. Coordination levels the playing field, and it provides a way to ensure equality, and consistency. In Coordination, DOE would not be able to dictate without absolute proof of harm, and without paying our County for Mitigation for changes that they, the DOE, have determined are necessary. If equality and consistency are not agreed to in legal Coordination, then the party asking for change has to pay for the mitigation costs. DOE should be brought to the Coordination table, rather than the Cooperation table. They have very different legal meanings and outcomes.
I encourage everyone to continue to request our County Council to change gears. The Council needs to move from their current process, which does not identify problems or how solutions will solve identified problems, to the Coordination process wherein problems would have to be identified, along with solutions that would address the identified problems. In Coordination, the County Council could use the Data Quality Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and use well qualified advisors to address the specific concerns. Currently, we have biologists instead of hydro geologists determining what wetlands are and County Staff synthesizing the Best Available Science. It is not working out very well. As Todd Meyers pointed out when I asked him to read one page of one report, "..the county makes some pretty basic errors.
First, they make some basic factual mistakes. For instance, they claim:
Based on historical temperature data collected throughout the Puget Sound region during the 20th century, average annual temperatures in this region have risen more rapidly (1.5°C [2.3°F]) than temperatures during the same time period for the entire Pacific Northwest region of the United States (0.8°C [1.4°F]) This is incorrect. For example, the temperature station at Olga on Orcas Island measures a temperature increase during the last 110 years of 0.6 degrees F, one-quarter of that claimed in the report. They go on to say: Regarding future increases in Pacific Northwest temperatures, climate models have predicted an average rise of 0.6 °F per decade for the period of 1990 to 2040. We are now 40% of the way into this prediction, so we can test its accuracy thus far. Using the same data from Olga, shows a decline of 0.25 degrees during that period. Temperatures have increased much less than claimed over the last century and have actually declined at time when it was claimed temperatures would increase by 1.2 degrees. Second, they actually misquote the studies they cite. For instance, they cite two studies on potential sea level rise and misrepresent both."
Currently, our County Staff is not able to specifically state what ecological problems need to be solved, and they cannot even identify examples of ecological problems in our islands. How can Staff determine that their suggested changes will solve the unidentified problems? As the you tubes above note, this is all about "obedience" and control. Is this how we want to treat our neighbors, or how we want to be treated?
CAPR San Juan is currently in the Coordination process with the BLM. If you want to learn more, let us know. If you want to donate to the costs of our Coordination process, please send a check to Box 1866, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. Your donations are tax deductible.
Thanks for becoming educated and involved. Please share with your neighbors.
Frank Penwell, President
Citizens Alliance for Property Rights San Juan