Sunday, June 3, 2012

CAO - Critical Areas Overreaction

Back in 2008, the Council designated the entire county as a critical aquifer recharge area (CARA), so there is already a precedent for overreaction here with respect to the CAOs. Although entirely wrong, the CARA did not impose harsh restrictions on landowners, but the Fish & Wildlife Habitat CAO probably will impose severe and pointless burdens. We know from the "straw poll" at the Planning Commission that a majority of Planning Commissioners now want to designate all shorelines and streams as critical.

What is at the root of this proclivity for overreaction? It seems like our community panics at the mere thought of human participation in anything. Should we rename the SMP the "Shoreline Madness Plan,"  or maybe the PSP should stand for "People Spreading Panic."

Speaking of the PSP, according to their Action Agenda, after all shorelines have been designated as critical, this scandal-ridden agency then plans to have the government buy a lot of it (see quote from the Action Agenda below). See, we're all part of some agency's grand plan, a bureaucratic fantasy. And for all the citizens who lament the "tragedy of the commons," I have yet to hear an explanation for how putting more and more land into "the commons" solves the purported problem. If it's a tragedy, wouldn't we want to move land out of "the commons?"

Spreading hysteria seems to be designed to facilitate the accomplishment of bureaucratic dreams for mission-starved agencies. It sure seems that way anyway. Judging by past events, we're an easy mark here in the northwest. This isn't the first time that folks in the Puget Sound region have gone looney. Hysteria seems to be part of life here. Borrowing Amory Lovins' expression for a new purpose, it causes us to address environmental concerns by "cutting butter with a chainsaw."  

San Juan Lead Entity Shoreline Protection. San Juan County Lead Entity for Salmon Recovery will identify priority habitats for acquisition by 2013 in updates to the Salmon Recovery strategy, and will lead acquisition of, or establishment of conversation easements for 25% of priority habitat shoreline miles with willing sellers/owners by 2014.

1 comment:

  1. No problem--the value of any residential property by that time will be so low that even San Juan County will be able to afford it -- oh, wait--there won't be much in the way of property taxes, will there, if those $500k+ properties are all devalued? Careful, we may have to lay off the Ministry of Disinformation or some "long term planners." Those are high-paying pays we need to support.