Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Conservation District Ploy

Yesterday afternoon at 1:02 pm the County Council discussed the possibility of moving grant funding for all or part of the PSP LIO/AAOG and AOC together with the MRC and Lead Entity to the CD. Make sense?

This is why the average citizen has no hope of tracking County shenanigans. Even the jargon is an insider's game, and when you add in the artful half-truths and deception that are the hallmarks of our zombie-Friends staffers ... you get an impenetrable web of eco-deceit.

If you watch the linked video, you will see that not even Jamie Stephens (our County Chair) can keep the acronyms and responsibilities straight. He struggles like grasshopper while Barbara Rosenkotter rattles off acronyms and committee names as if she were a shaolin priest of eco-bureaucracy.

The Puget Sound Partnership (PSP), which is funded by the State and the Feds, is embodied on the local level by an organization created by our County Council, the Local Implementing Organization (LIO). What does it implement? It is supposed to implement the PSP's Action Agenda for San Juan County, which is the PSP's local plan for cleaning up our local waters. If you actually read the PSP's Action Agenda, you will note that they plan to clean up our local waters by having endless grant-funded coordinating meetings. The LIO is also known as the Action Agenda Oversight Group (AAOG), and so you often see the acronyms LIO and AAOG used interchangeably or written as "LIO/AAOG." Subordinate to the LIO/AAOG are two policy-making bodies:  the Implementation Committee (which helps draft the County Action Agenda) and the Accountability Oversight Committee (AOC), which is a committee comprised of the County in league with the Tribes. Both the County and the Tribes have veto votes regarding policy initiatives associated with the AOC.

Rosenkotter, Lyshall, and Zee hatched a plan to move this alphabet soup out of the County offices and into the enlarged quarters of the Conservation District (CD). In addition, they want to take with them the Lead Entity Coordinator role for salmon recovery (a watershed-oriented program funded by the State). Up until now, this whole shooting match has been jumbled together with the County's Marine Resources Committee (MRC). However, with greater scrutiny being placed on County Advisory Committees, especially the MRC, Rosenkotter, Lyshall, and Zee want to take the meat of the MRC's funding and "authority" and stash it in the Conservation District.

Why should we care?

We should care because these people are sneaky, because they are thinking several steps ahead of the rest of us, and because they have a pervasive influence on the lives of everyone who lives on our shorelines. For example, let's take a look at the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) TACT grant to San Juan County for a moment. TACT stands for "Trouble shooting, Action planning, Course correction, and Tracking and monitoring." Via this grant, the MRC jumble was working in boats with the Friends and armed enforcement officers from the Department of Ecology to map possible shoreline violations. Even Pictometry got mixed up with the activities associated with this grant, since sources suggest that Amy Windrope (from WDFW), Stephanie Buffum (Friends), Rosenkotter, and Lyshall were eagerly anticipating the synergies that would accrue from having Pictometry support the TACT pre-enforcement mapping. The County Council didn't authorize this work, and when certain County staffers threatened to bring these activities to light, their jobs were threatened. These are the kinds of things that happen in our County now when we supposedly have control. What would it be like if these roles and responsibilities were to be splintered?

Although the Conservation District is purportedly a non-regulatory body, the scheming that's going on right now is an effort to transform the Conservation District into grant central for facilitating enforcement actions against shoreline owners. The CD may not do the actual enforcement, but they figure they can support enforcement by others.

Thankfully, at least in the discussion yesterday, Jarman and Hughes saw the ploy for what it was.


  1. Don't forget that Jamie received a Democratic endorsement from Ron Zee. Barbara Rosenkotter was the campaign Treasurer for Lisa Byers, too. This plan has been in the works for a while, and it would have been one of the ways that Ron Zee would have received payback for his endorsements. They were sure that Lovel would win also.

    How long before Lovel shows up at the Conservation District?

  2. Soooo .... what ever became of the Pictometry overflights?

    Some folks may have missed the exciting news about the NSA revelations in the meanwhile.

    The Conservation District is being set up to administer the national monument management plan being quietly developed behind the scenes. Detailed monitoring to help our federal partners will be necessary.

    Yes, this whole affair was put in motion on the assumption that $100,000 behind Pratt and Byers and Stephens would rubber stamp it through.

    Stephens knows exactly what is going on. He is the thick of this.

    This falls entirely on Hughes to do the right thing.

  3. The pictometry proponents knew precisely what scam they were pulling all along, and they lied and feigned ignorance in front of the council. "Oh I do declare that I knew absolutely nothing about hooking up pictometry with TACT and the MRC and the PSP and the CD and the WDFW and the Friends. Honest, council, you're in charge!" as they bat their eyes and look innocent.


    This is why the council has to look at everything from top to bottom. This county is soaked in corruption and lies.

  4. Yes, but:

    What ever became of the Pictometry overflights?

    What is the status??

  5. I believe the County has proceeded with the Pictometry scope of work, minus the obliques.

  6. And don't forget folks, in order to vote on who sits on the "CD" Board, you must REQUEST A BALLOT. (Yeah, soon we'll be known as Florida North)

    This means of course that voters working all the time or just not paying attention don't know such an election is going on, so they don't request a ballot and then can't vote. Zee and his cronies do a targeted mailing and get all the votes they need.

    We'll never get rid of this bunch. UNLESS you all request a ballot.

  7. In addition to the thoroughly undemocratic process that the SJCD uses (write to the legislature seeking something that looks less like pre-Civil war Mississippi), the Conservation District is seeking an increase in its fee due to all the MEETINGS that its staff must attend. If this weren't so appalling it would be funny. So, look for the fee hike on the ballot, and look for the SJCD ballot --oh, wait, you don't GET a ballot unless you request one!

    What a racket--what natural resources training does Zee have again? What did he do when he had a job? He DID have a job at some point, right?

  8. Regarding Pictometry, make a note in your calendars because I'm pretty sure that the contract still exists and includes TWO MORE $100,000 flyovers for updates, and staff will probably to manage to have them occur when no one is looking.

  9. Sooooo......does the Magnolia Institute scrape off 5% of all grant money received by the CD now, or is that just the likely next step in Mr. Zee's agenda for consolidation of his growing shadow government empire?

  10. When are the SJCD elections?
    How do we request ballots?
    Lets knock this chump off his block and run someone else.

  11. Right on people! Once a person registers to vote, that person should always get EVERY ballot for EVERY election...the very basis for this Nation!

    How in the Sam Hell this gotta ask for a ballot nonsense got in place I frankly don't give a shit.

    Probably justified by some minuscule "cost saving" less than the extras (winch, lights etc.) on one public works vehicle. (Right, we join with other buyers to get good deals on large orders, BUT maybe we're joining with the wrong buyers?) OK, I digress.

    The right of every man and woman on these islands is to control their own destiny by electing people who think clearly and that must be accomplished.

    Not much success lately, must keep at it.

    PS: Maybe Lovel never published a congrats loser letter because she believes she is still in charge. Maybe she is? (I could be wrong about the congrats letter...I just never saw one.)

  12. Watching the video...Stan Matthews is a SALESMAN. Yuck

  13. Watching the video...Stan Matthews is a SALESMAN. Yuck

  14. I'm impressed by Jarmon and Hughes (per the video). It seems that Jamie had not thought the issue through completely but Jarmon and Hughes thought quickly and clearly on the fly.

    Loved the questions about salaries and work schedules. And the facial expressions.

    Was horrified by Barbara R's reaction to the commissions questions and hesitation. It appeared as tho' she thought it would be a slam dunk.

    Really impressed Rick and Bob! Such good practical questions and clear headed thinking. Bravo.

    I'd like to echo 5:53. When are the SJCD elections and how do we get a ballot? Can the Trust Islanders people be notified as well? Journal? San Juan Islander? Guardian?

    And 6:45 AGREE! This system creates a very vulnerable government.

  15. I tried to send a message to Trust Islanders. I couldn't figure out how to get past their text verification so...could someone pass this on?

    Hi Royce, If you look at the current post on the Trojan Heron and read the comments you'll see that there is an election coming up having to do w/the Conservation District.

    Apparently you only get a ballot if you request one and there are probably some people using this to create undue influence.

    I just wondered if you might consider trying to get the word out about this. I personally would not have had a clue w/out reading that blog.

    Thanks for all you do! Amazing :)

  16. And if TI needs more $ for this, my check will be forthcoming. I Think a mailer is around 3k

    Refute FOSJ and light up the CD all in one?

  17. Link to apply for a ballot for CD elections :


  18. I looked back in comments and must have missed it but..
    When is the vote?
    Thank you for your help.

  19. Conservation District elections are held in February of each year. Every year, one person is elected to the 5-member Conservation District Board. Three of the Board members are elected. Two are appointed by the State.

    The website for the CD is found at this link:

    The current elected members are Zee, Henning Sehmsdorf of Lopez, and Steve Belluomini of San Juan. The appointed members are Vicki Heater of Waldron, and April LaLande of San Juan.

    The only position open for election in 2014 is the seat currently occupied by Belluomini. Zee's seat won't be up for election until 2015. Sehmsdorf in 2016.

    As you might be able to discern, they have the Conservation District locked up for a few years. The public should start attending Conservation District Board meetings.

  20. It might be worthy to note that there was no election in 2013 as no one else filed for the position so the incumbent kept the spot.

  21. The one spot for 2014 will be a target.

  22. Belluomini is the only conservation commissioner not in Zee's pocket already, so there is no ground to be gained in 2014. Ground could be lost, however.

  23. Excellent schlepping here, however, no matter the election, Milene Henley, County Auditor and Elections Supervisor, must be made to change the election format for the Conservation District.

    If Belluomini is good to keep, that's fine, but he should still stand the test of a real election.

    And, only the very powerful Milene can determine if we continue to sink into the swamp of past muck, or we rise. Asking for a ballot is not what this country is all about and certainly Ms. Henley knows it.

    Get on the bus Ms. Henley.

  24. Many thanks to the TH for this latest post. I was relieved to hear Hughes speak. He sounded clear and thoughtful to me for the first time.

    Got a kick out of Jarmin saying Jamie must have it all nailed down as an experienced incumbent.

  25. regarding post on July 17 at 8:12

    Thanks for your request. TrustIslanders! does read the Trojan Heron. We are actively watching the aftermath of the recent election. Our future actions will be determined by what WE and all of YOU see as the the threats to our liberties. We fully realized that the Machine has only been pushed further under ground in their efforts to control us. Publishing letters to the editor and sending mailers is only effective when the voting public is inclined to listen--generally near an election.
    What is needed is an ongoing educational campaign that challenges all residents of the islands to actually take responsibility for the government that is created here. After all, we get the government that we deserve. I encourage all of you to get ACTIVELY involved. Ed Kilduff is a very busy guy, yet look at what an effect he has had in informing the islanders. All of you can multiply yourselves by talking in a civil manner to your neighbors and friends--figure out a way to talk to them an such a way that they can visualize how their lives might be affected.
    Another very good way to get involved would be to financially support a paper version of the Trojan Heron ---if and when Mr. Kilduff is so inclined--ask him, he may do it with your help.

    9:29 am--Thanks for your donation offer. Maybe your check can be the spark to start a paper Trojan Heron.


  26. Getting time now to drive the conversation, and actively management the agenda.

    A draft information privacy ordinance has surfaced. It is strong medicine. It could blow the lid off and launch the real rural resistance. There will be more to come.

    Stay tuned.

  27. “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

    - Eric Hoffer

  28. @Royce and 8:12

    Great comment, but we still don't know who Ed Kilduff is. The Trojan Heron doesn't disclose the contributors, authors, or editors associated with this blog ... or the commenters.

    But folks are free speculate :-)

  29. Soo' Rick, You have told several associates to let you know when you are stepping in questionable area's. Well this is one of them, if the CD is not on the general ballot then we have a major problem. How can a government entity, that can tax the citizen's that it "controls" not have an election process that is open to those same citizen's??? You have to request a ballot???? What is wrong with this picture??? Step up to the plate and fix this problem. If not then you are one of them, the machine. Fix it Rick, or go home.

  30. Wow. Senator Murray has secured 62 million dollars of Federal money (fresh of the printing presses) for salmon recovery work. It will be given out as grants.

    Now we know why the CD, Rosenkotter and Lyshall and Zeero are pushing so hard for control of the Salmon Lead Entity position.
    This 12 million in 10 years is peanuts compared to the flood of $$ to come our way.

    By the way, are any of these grant grubbing leaches even aware of how much debt our federal government has?

  31. The way to "recover Salmon" is to spend Federal Tax Dollars from grants to further limit property rights and personal liberty.

    How much damage can EcoZealots do with $62M?

  32. @12:19
    I think you underestimate the power of meetings and publishing brochures. Lots of salmon saved that way.

    I have an idea, get the damn tribes to stop wrecking the fish population through their outrageously destructive methods. Any hope of changing that?

  33. I know many will have another opinion, but I think Senator Murray (SP ?) is able to think in a reasonable manner.

    Maybe there is hope she will come to understand how accurate the posts of 12:19 and 4:43 are and begin a new effort to make grants to only those folks with proven results, and also set up routine no knock ground level check in on how grant receivers are doing as they claimed they would in their likely overstated application.

    FOSJ would fall over in a dead faint.

  34. 62 million bucks.
    Could we get about 8 of that and build a hatchery, on a small scale?

    Cultivate eel grass? Plant new eel grass?

    Tangible efforts, not regulations, mailers, and meetings.

    Oh to be a "qualified consultant" in this day and age.

    Sadly though, the machine has tentacles that reach in to the State coffers and extract and waste money that could otherwise be put to good use.

    Have any of you read RCW 89.08

    Here is one about dissolving the CD.

    Petition to dissolve district — Election.

    At any time after five years from the organization of a district, twenty percent of the voters in the district may file with the commission a petition, praying that the district be dissolved. The commission may hold public hearings thereon, and within sixty days from receipt of the petition, shall give due notice of an election on the question of dissolution. It shall provide appropriate ballots, conduct the election, canvass the returns, and declare the results in the same manner as for elections to create a district.

    All district electors may vote at the election. No informality relating to the election shall invalidate it if notice is substantially given and the election is fairly conducted.

    I have a brilliant idea, lets set up a "dissolve the CD" website, get 20% of the electorate to sign the petition, then make the election so you have to get a ballot by request.....

    Seriously, how bout trying to shut down the CD and starting over.

    Our islands, state and country that matter need the reset button pressed. I pray that it is peaceful.

  35. @11:03

    I honestly think that is a brilliant idea.

  36. Watch the video again about the CD and Rosenkotters presentation.

    Jamie looks miffed that he isn't getting his way. He seems shocked that Rick and Bob don't just do as he says.

    Bravo to Rick and Bob. You will hold the line on a lot of important things. This is one of them. 12 million dollars in the past decade. 62 million to be spread out state wide this year alone.
    If we get some of this money, lets do stuff that restores fish.
    Hatcheries? Fish eggs? Releasing more fish in to the wild?

    If anyone wants to use the money for public outreach and information conveyance, lets start trying to shame the tribes in to quitting their fishing practices that wreck entire ecosystems in an afternoon.

  37. So the city of Detroit is going bankrupt. Anyone want to bet there is atleast one high ranking staffer with the name Hale?

  38. RCW 89.08

    Bingo. You nailed it.

    Just put these Frauds out of business. I have no issue with Conservation Districts and their noble work around the country. But this one, and probably others around the state ... (we are not alone) are heading off the rails. Remember that the long time vice president of FOSJ Lynn Bahrych (long time owner of the longest private dock in the County) served as head of the Washington State Conservation Commission for many years.


    So dissolve the San Juan County Conservation Commission and get started today. And if it makes sense, then re-create it, its a good outfit to have around as long as its not highjacked by special interests.

    Or in the threat of all this, use the leverage to bang some sense into this nutballs. That's a no brainer.

    Thank you thank you.

  39. The County Fair will attract more island residents in one place over several days than any other event.

    It will be easy to get signatures.

    As to what is meant by twenty percent. Twenty percent of all registered voters or twenty percent of folks who have asked the CD to receive a ballot in a past election.

    I think the RCW says voters in the district, and so that would county wide registered voters for any election.


  40. Assume we need 20% of registered voters. That is about 2200 people. Or 2/3 of the people that voted for Jarmin. Let's get the petition done then make the vote by requested ballot only.

    This will get the machine and $$ out of the woodwork.

  41. @10:26 The Conservation District's weird election process is set out in the statute and cannot be changed by the Council. Apparently, the Conservation Commission is studying the undemocratic process and looking to recommend changes. That is where the comments are needed.

  42. Impressed by Jarmon and Hughes for questioning this crazy concept and asking for details.

  43. Yes, Jarman and Hughes have both said that they will not be voting for this increase in funding to an organization that has wandered far from its agricultural and forestry assistance mission to Ron Zee's state and federal grant feeding trough.

    Thank goodness for the new Council.