This is an important point because the RCW requires that designations/classifications be based on definitions. It's a two-fer (definition + designation/classification), and it's the law. The minimum guidelines for critical areas specifically say that classification will be based on definitions.
RCW 36.70A.050 Guidelines to classify agriculture, forest, and mineral lands and critical areas.(1) Subject to the definitions provided in RCW 36.70A.030, the department shall adopt guidelines, under chapter 34.05 RCW, no later than September 1, 1990, to guide the classification of: (a) Agricultural lands; (b) forest lands; (c) mineral resource lands; and (d) critical areas.This language is repeated elsewhere with specific emphasis on shorelines.
RCW 36.70A.480 Shorelines of the state.The courts have made it clear that compliance with the minimum guidelines is the first step in evaluating the validity of County compliance with critical area and resource lands designation and protection. Continuing with shorelines as a case in point, the WAC provides a list of the types of areas that need to be considered for inclusion into a Fish & Wildlife Habitat critical area. But the Planning Commission did not do any evaluation of whether such areas in the County might actually meet the definition of a critical area, but simply copied the list into the draft code. The WAC states:
(5) Shorelines of the state shall not be considered critical areas under this chapter except to the extent that specific areas located within shorelines of the state qualify for critical area designation based on the definition of critical areas provided by RCW 36.70A.030(5) and have been designated as such by a local government pursuant to RCW 36.70A.060(2).
"Fish and wildlife habitat conservation" means land management for maintaining populations of species in suitable habitats within their natural geographic distribution so that the habitat available is sufficient to support viable populations over the long term and isolated subpopulations are not created. This does not mean maintaining all individuals of all species at all times, but it does mean not degrading or reducing populations or habitats so that they are no longer viable over the long term.The Planning Commission did not consider the facts related to the definition prior to designating all shorelines as critical. That's a major fail.
You see, if a person were to designate or label without first considering the facts related to definition, then the chances of being completely wrong are quite high. For example, a person might vociferously designate/label an adversary as being the suspected author of a disliked blog comment or blog post, but if the facts don't support the definition of authorship, then the allegations are just fire-breathing nonsense. It doesn't make the alleger crazy, necessarily. It just makes him wrong at the top of his lungs.
Likewise, when a collection of straw-poll cronies on the Planning Commission decides to designate all shorelines as critical without first considering whether the shorelines meet the definition of "critical," then such baseless, prejudicial designation represents wholesale failure to comply with the minimum guidelines in the law.
We live in a community with many proponents for prejudice. Prejudice and discrimination arise from stereotyping those who do not conform to societal and cultural norms. We at the Trojan Heron embrace civic knowledge, and we feel it is our duty to challenge the sterotypes, prejudicial claims, and designations made by eco-phonies and eco-bigots, even when (or especially when) such challenges conflict with the prevailing societal and cultural norms here; since we very strongly believe that our existing community standards do not live up to the definition of a free and open society, much less a scientific one.
Almost every day, events here seem to bear that out.