Monday, April 23, 2012

Dumb and Dumber

At least one Council member keeps saying that our current buffers are "dumb" because they were established without the benefit of Best Available Science (BAS). In her mind, the "problem" with our current version of the CAOs is that we must revise our buffers to comply with WAC 365-195-900 (RCW 36.70A.172):

Counties and cities must include the "best available science" when developing policies and development regulations to protect the functions and values of critical areas

But the requirement to include BAS in our considerations doesn't automatically mean changing our buffers. Besides, many who have been following our County's BAS and the travails of Dr. Adamus are not at all convinced that the new proposed buffers are any smarter than our current buffers, and they may be a good deal dumber.

The fact is, whatever the official BAS might say, our current buffers are the only buffers we have empirical evidence for, and they appear to have been doing a pretty good job. In that regard, they represent the best, most local, and only proven BAS we have about buffers for our County environment. Who abandons a system that is working for a theoretical, unproven method of protection?

It looks like our County might, that's who.


  1. Why was there no mention of the Zhang study?

  2. I suppose only Dr. Adamus knows for sure. I find it most incredible that when he was confronted with the Zhang paper, Dr. Adamus admitted that he'd known about it all along. Go figure, I cannot fathom it.

  3. This just points out the problem with BAS. The law is, as usual, vague. The County is required to take BAS into consideration, but who decides what BAS is? Basically, the County (planning department) gets to pick and choose as it sees fit. Thus, massive buffers, supported by their trained scientist, and supported by law! Doesn't matter that the science is flawed, it is "best" because it produces the desired confiscatory effect on property.