Thursday, February 16, 2006

"The True Cost Of Protection?"

Washington Post
"In all, according to a recent report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the government spent more than $1.4 billion protecting endangered species in 2004 -- 17 percent more than in 2003. Rounding out the top 10 list of 'most expensive' species (salmon take four spots) are the steelhead, Steller sea lion, bull trout, red-cockaded woodpecker, pallid sturgeon and right whale. The wildlife service report provided expenditures for nearly all of the 1,340 endangered species. Mammals accounted for $122 million; birds, $103 million; reptiles, $42 million; amphibians, $8 million; fish, $475 million; insects, $7.5 million; and flowering plants, $21 million. The report, which regularly invites controversy, provides information to Congress so lawmakers can make decisions on conservation spending, according to the service."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Columbia River Bill Passes Senate, Gov. Gregoire To Sign By RACHEL LA CORTE (Reg. required):
"'It's a new day for water policy,' Sen. Erik Poulsen, D-Seattle, told Department of Ecology Director Jay Manning in the Senate wings after the vote. Manning was joined by Gregoire, who hugged Poulsen and other lawmakers, just as she had after the House vote the night before. Gregoire said she could sign the bill by the end of the week. "

"Washington State House passes Columbia River water storage plan"

Update 2/14/2006: The same bill passed the state Senate today, 48 to zip. It was a love fest on Valentine's Day. Section 11 of the bill states in its entirety: "If specific authority to issue general obligation bonds of at least two hundred million dollars for the purposes of this act, referencing this act by bill or chapter number, is not providrd by June 30, 2006, in a bond authorization act, this act is null and void." The act is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2006 -- and you can count on that. : By RACHEL LA CORTE
" A new Columbia River management plan was approved by the House on Monday night, but the measure hangs on a $200 million funding package recommended by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The plan, which focuses on conservation and building new reservoirs, passed overwhelmingly on a 94-4 bipartisan vote. It now heads to the Senate, where Gregoire said she hoped it would be approved Tuesday."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Gravel Mining in Yakima County

"County commissioners approved a final development plan Tuesday that's designed to limit impacts a pending gravel mine will have on surrounding orchards on Lateral 1 Road, northwest of Wapato. However, whether Columbia Ready-Mix will be able to begin drawing gravel from the 78-acre abandoned orchard this summer remains to be seen. The firm still must obtain a zoning permit from Yakima County and weather a competitor's appeal that claims the approval process violated the state Growth Management Act."

"Property-rights initiative likely to spark fierce fight"

The Seattle Times: By Eric Pryne, staff reporter
"The Washington State Farm Bureau filed its long-expected property-rights initiative Wednesday, kicking off what's likely to be one of the year's most fiercely contested election campaigns. The initiative, which has been in the works for 13 months, would require state and local governments either to compensate landowners when regulations lower property values, or to waive those rules."