To Geoff Simpson and Dan Roach and the entire Washington State Legislature:

I have read the Guest Editorial by Geoff Simpson and a Guest Editorial by Dan Roach appearing in two separate issues of the King County Journal, regarding critical areas ordinances vs. constitutional protections.  I have also read Geoff Simpson's e-mail to Stan Powers, a rural landowner.  A message of condescension, at best.
Dan and Geoff are saying somewhat the same thing when they say that reasonable people must come together and forge a solution.  But a solution to what?  Geoff and his environmental cronies think that critical areas deserve absolute protection, no matter what.  Dan says, NO, we must protect private property rights.  Geoff, in his approach to environmental protection believes environmental protection trumps constitutional law.  Dan is saying we must follow the constitution, as best we can, with some caveats.
However, the solution is quite simple but must be based on a specific foundation for it to be so.  The foundation is that the U. S. Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land.  If it is not, then the solution becomes much more complicated with many more negative consequences to politicians, citizens and landowners.  The 5th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution is abundantly clear and I will repeat an excerpt here for your review.
"No person …………… shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without DUE PROCESS of law; nor shall private property be taken for PUBLIC USE without COMPENSATION." 
Environmental Protection is, without a doubt and unequivocally, for public use.
And further the 5th Amendment cannot be construed such that federal, state or local governments have the power of eminent domain to condemn property and then give, donate or sell that property to a developer or private party for the sole purpose of obtaining higher taxes from that private property.  That's not eminent domain, that's outright theft.  Hopefully, the U. S. Supreme Court will clear this up once and for all in the next few months.
Protecting water quality is for public use.  Protecting wetlands is for public use.  Protecting animal habitat is for public use.  Preserving fish runs is for public use.  It cannot be construed any other way by a reasonable and prudent man or woman who is knowlegeable of our heritage and our foundation of law.
So if the Geoff's of the world truly believe in the Constitution and certainly they must since they swear on oath to preserve, protect and defend that constitution, the solution is to pay rural landowners a truly "fair" market value for property upon which they are imposing regulations to protect water quality, wetlands, fish runs and animal habitat, or any other public use.  If the government doesn't have the money, don't pass the law.  It's just that certain politicians would rather steal our property than pay for it.
Really folks, it's simple.  It doesn't need long drawn out committee meetings or the nashing of teeth by so-called stake holders (environmentalists invented "stake holders" for their own purposes.  the only stake holder is the private landowner, period).  If government passes a law affecting private rural landowners for a public use, the Government must pay that landowner "fair" market value.  How can you construe it any other way?  King County just paid Hancock Timber $22,000,000 to preserve 120,000 acres of Weyerhauser property behind Snoqualmie, WA.  If they will pay Hancock to protect and preserve property, why then won't they agree to pay us for exactly the same thing?  Why indeed!!!
So once again I shall pass on a simple statement of truth.

"Reasonably protecting the environment is laudable.   Trashing the Constitution to do it is treasonous."


See how simple that was and I didn't threaten any one, Geoff.




Ron Ewart

Fall City, WA

425 222-9482