Thursday, August 22, 2013

Conservation District Watch: The Series - Installment #8

The Conservation District that exists today is not the same animal that formed in 1947. In fact, the Conservation District has undergone tremendous change in just the past year. In the last few months, they let go a long-time senior planner (Dana Kinsey). They hired Lyshall as District Manager, and they recently hired a couple of other part-time junior staffers.

Zee and the Stewardship Network Steering Committee (Zee, Lyshall, Stephanie Buffum, Lincoln Bormann) also appointed Julia Vouri as Coordinator of the Stewardship Network/ECONet "under the umbrella of the Conservation District." And when we decipher what that last sentence means, we'll let you know, but it sounds like Zee has found a way to get around the Conservation District Board and absorb whatever/whomever he wants into the CD by using bureaucratic sleight of hand.

So when the Conservation District talks about all the great things they've done (as they do in the email below), the people who are there now are not necessarily the ones who accomplished them. The people who are there now have a different agenda ... empire building. The CD is transforming itself into "grant central" for the county. The CD wants tax money, Salmon Recovery money, Voluntary Stewardship Plan money, and every other public penny it can get its grubby mitts on. It is getting ready for big plans, big money, and good times.

The Conservation District (with their farm plans and native plant sale) is to the Machine/Network what the Genco Olive Oil Company was to the Corleone Family. It's a front. It's a place to launder money from the State and elsewhere ... money for messaging and bad-science ... and re-brand it as grassroots, locally-based, environmentally conscious, conservation "science based planning."

Letting our Conservation District continue to operate would be like letting the mafia survive because we like olive oil.

The email below was sent out recently by the Conservation District to encourage people to support the CD's requested new tax assessment. It was effective. Many people turned out to testify before the County Council about the wholesome goodness of the Conservation District and the wonderful things it does (or used to do).  Honestly, though, look how anemic even the CD's own numbers are for the benefits they've bestowed on us.

80 ... they've helped 80 people. Not 80 people per year ... but over 5 years ... that's about half of one percent of our population of 15,000+.  And they have benefited (whatever that means) 3,500 acres. Our county has about 110,000 acres.

Frankly, that's not even much of a front. The CD has to go; otherwise, it won't be long before they're making us offers we can't refuse.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, August 02, 2013 1:53 PM
Subject: Request for support

Dear SJC landowner,

I am contacting you because you have worked with the San Juan Islands Conservation District in the last few years and understand what we do and how we are placed within the context of land conservation for residential, farm or forest lands.

Our history goes back to 1947 in San Juan County. The work with do with landowners is done using a non-regulatory, non-enforcement, science based planning process.   We have continued to offer our services over the years while growing with the changes in science and our local land base.   We have offered access to information and cost-share opportunites for enhancing your management work and your working lands.  Our work has benefited over 80 landowners and 3500 acres in the last five years.  You were one of those landowners.

The current County Assessment Ordinance provides us with a $5 assessment per parcel. Because of a recent state Supreme Court ruling the ordinance needs to be re-worded to include a per acre amount to meet the requirements of state law. The proposed new ordinance changes the fee to $5 per parcel plus 5 cents per acre. In other words, an owner of a 10-acre parcel would pay $5.50 rather than the current $5 per year.  The additional revenues (approximately $3,800) will mostly be spent on County administrative costs to implement the changes.

To make this change in the ordinance a public hearing is required. Our hearing with the County Council is scheduled for next Tuesday, August 6th at 9:00 AM.

If you would be willing to appear in person (if you can!) or even write an email to the County Council members expressing your support we would really appreciate it.

If you do send an email please do send me a copy of it so I can refer to it during the hearing.

You may reach the County Council members collectively at:  SJC Council  <>

Our via each Council members email contact:

Bob Jarman <>

Rick Hughes <>

Jamie Stephens <>

Please feel free to contact me or our new district manager Linda Lyshall if you have any questions!


R. Bruce Gregory
San Juan Islands Conservation District
NRCS Certified Planner
Farm & Forest Resources
Mail: 350 Court St. #10
Office: 530 Guard St.
Friday Harbor, San Juan Is. WA  98250


  1. Well, if the CD can "help" get some ganja growing and into some local stores or the brickworks, I might have to switch teams here.
    Any bets on which island opens the first retail store?
    Current odds:
    Orcas 2:1
    SJI 3.5:1
    Lopez 7:1
    Shaw 168:1
    Waldron 4:20

    Place your bets.
    Not like an entrepreneur could do this on their own. Remember, "you didn't build that. Somewhere along the way you had help".
    Get a grant. It's the island way.

  2. Cheech and Chong for Conservation District Board?

    The odds for Waldron are way too low. Nuclear free weed.

  3. This is a good question to pose at the CD open house on Friday.

    What's a good farm plan for growing GMO free artisanal pot from heirloom seed?

    The future of the Brickworks is assured. The Conservation District is on the verge of bringing millions of new revenues into the county. This is HUGE.

    Lopez Looney Tunes. Orcas Oz. San Juandering in the Weeds.

    The Visitor Bureau can market exciting new ecotourism packages to the "high-end" market of discriminating connoisseurs, lighting spliff with hundred dollar bills.

    Who the hell wants to tour lavender fields when you could run through ganja fields instead. Wear rubber vests to collect pollen and sap you can then scrape off and roll into your very own personalized hash balls.

    And then sleep it off in one of Ron Zee's rent-a-tepees with composting toilets.

  4. Do I have this straight? The new revenue created by this "change" will pay for the "change". So it's a wash?

    That's strange and makes me wonder what the big push was. Is it job security for someone?

  5. I don't think the CD will be bringing in a lot of new grants. I think it's more that this little group controls the grants that would have been intended for the county.


  6. It is very helpful to concentrate attention on the developments in the Conservation District, which have obviously been underway for quite some time and would logically have been propelled and amplified by the presumed regime of Stephens, Pratt and Byers.

    In that respect, after Labor Day will come a series of new revelations, and the Conservation District controversy will help the public to contextualize and better understand the depth of the corrupt enterprise that has established itself here.

    The time is coming for a broad, coordinated attack on the Machine, both locally and beyond. The strategies and resources are coming together to make use of the civic journalism and "street noise intel" that has accumulated over the past few years.

    This will be a long range campaign, and will be fought along a number of fronts. We are grateful that machinations behind the plunder and pillage of such a noble institution as the Conservation District have been laid out so clearly for all to see.

    It is sort of like waking up in the middle of the night with an itch for a glass of milk, turning on the light in a darkened kitchen and recoiling in disgust to a lot of startled cockroaches on the floor who frantically scrabble towards the dark, dank cracks in the wall where they tend to lurk hidden from view.

    How do you get rid of a cock roach infestation? Hint: You can start with your house, but if you don't work with your neighbors to clean out the neighborhood, you know they'll just come back.

  7. @8:41

    At least that, but if any of these new federal appropriations for salmon come our way, we could see an increase in grants. Then, the VSP will likely be funded at some point, and the CD is in line to run that program. There may be lean times now, but they're positioning for better times to come.

  8. Right, and we are getting to that tipping point where satirical investigative blogging combined with public trial by comment snark is beginning to give way to the real trench warfare coming to work the budget and policy process, step on their air supply and slowly suffocate the beast until it expires.

    A lot of that is not going to make the "evening news" and will mostly be an obscure crashing bore to most folks. But as long as we can maintain an effective narrative that provides good public context for an ongoing civic debate that will not stop, we're good.

    And that is why we must express such gratitude for the Machine shooting itself in the foot with the Conservation District. The gun's still smoking.

    Sure, it may sound like a lot of money but you have to separate out stuff like the difference between an authorization and an appropriation, or an apparently big Federal pie being sliced to ribbons by like minded NGOs all over Puget Sound viciously competing with each other for crumbs.

    There is a soft underbelly to the larger Machine we can attack because this is not a monolith. It is more like an Amway network with local distributors fighting each other for turf. I just gave away a major strategic clue so I'll shut up for now. But suffice it to say I look forward with some relish to what is coming.

  9. Sounds like the new intern at the TH has been hard at work. I got a chance to meet her, great young woman with a professional demeanor and the ability and resources to dig up stuff and unlock things I never new how.
    Impressive dedication to doing what is right.

  10. We'll it's becoming obvious from this last election that there is a real interest and openness of younger island working folks to start learning what's really going on.

    Brian McClerren played a really big role in energizing this emerging force in local politics, others too of course, but Brian's directness, clarity and refusal to get labeled was such a breath of fresh air. Good things are coming. It will take time, but its important to lay down the right conditions now and help create space for community healing and change.

    How does the Eco-Mafia hide behind a green screen and try to manipulate a whole generation that is already mindful of energy conservation, driving less, reading product labels and advocating civil rights for all and so on.

    They seem to be developing a really sharp bullshit radar given the current economic burdens that press hard on them, and in this process, will serve them well for decades to some.

    They want to learn a lot more about how this county is broken, how it can be fixed and what they can do. And they vote.

  11. I thought all the great young women interns worked at Kwiaht?

  12. Well, unfortunately that pseudo-scientist guy is taken and the last time he got too frisky, his partner, the genetic technician ... well ... you really don't want to know ... it involved a little circle of stones, and a candle in the middle ...

  13. Probably some best available science was used too, kinda slow. Ouch.

  14. Funds are dwindling, we are told. CD can help Salmon recovery by lowering overhead, we are told.

    If this was true, why expand and move in to a new office with more overhead?

    Doesn't add up.

  15. My guess is that they will say they are combining the overhead for different groups.

    But the cost is dangerously high if you consider it allows this group to have total control.

    Who can tell me about Mr. Zee. When did he come here? What is it he grows on his so called farm? Has he been the recipient of CD money for his "farm"? Or help in any way that achieved financial gain or "help" on his farm?His seeming bloodthirsty hunger for this control scares the heck out of me! What's wrong w/these people and their crazy idea that they know better than the rest of us? And they're all new here! Drives me absolutely crazy.

    Go somewhere else and pretend to save something and get paid big bucks for it!

    Please correct me if I'm getting something wrong.

  16. @9:29
    Ok I'll correct something you got wrong.....
    "his seeming bloodthirsty hunger for this control"

    I don't think use of the word "seeming" is appropriate. This powerlust has been well established.

  17. Actually, I believe that Ron Zee has never received any grants or CD money for his farm. He's been in the county for 16 years - that would be a newcomer for some.

  18. Recollection is dim, but believe the property was deeded to Zee around 1998, but for a few years yet, he was still working at Colorado Mountain College, in Aspen, CO. One of those phased moves. Not sure, but it was something like that.

    Around that time Stephanie Buffum moved to Shaw, under the wing of Lynn Bayrich. Both of them had apparently been working on some projects in the southwest prior to that.

    Buffum took over the house on Shaw originally built by the Sesbies when that well-heeled family moved over to San Juan Island and established Heritage Farms across the road from their old friends at Pratt Acres. The two families coordinated County Extension and SJ Preservation Trust to establish a sort of "corridor" of conservation easements for mutual tax benefits back then. There may be some missing details here, but most if not all of this can be corroborated.

    1998 is kind of an interesting year in the larger time line to this whole sorrowful mess. 1998 was pretty much the year the real teeth of growth management and the Comp Plan bit, thousands of parcels disappeared and the artificial real estate bubble from the resulting real estate market bubble began to grow.

    But of course ... those in the know ... made sure they arranged affairs before before the trap was snared. Most folks were clueless.

  19. @6:19
    Peg, haven't seen you for a while on the TH. curious if you got interviewed for the MRC position?
    I saw the little write up in the paper that mentioned your application.

  20. Where did you see that? Which Peg?

  21. Go to journal of the San Juans and click on news. Story about MRC vacancies.
    They list people that have applied. One guy is quoted as saying he hasn't been contacted.
    Some other "concern" about Manning and some guy named Kilduff. Evidently if you question how tax money is spent and search for the truth about corruption and cronyism, that is "controversial".
    Just wondering where things stood.

  22. All they have to do is file the applications they don't want in the round file, becomes a non-issue.

  23. 8/24 @ 4:14. Don't forget that 1998 is also the year that CSA board member Kilduff bought property in the San Juans.

  24. @3:45 AM

    Golly you're up late.

    And about the time that Land Bank Commissioner Jim Skoog bought his place.

  25. @8:09

    Don't you know by now that the Network never sleeps. There is always another grant application to get out the door.

    1998 was also the year that Google was founded. Biologists reported that they had sequenced the genome of syphilis, too.

    It all makes sense now.

  26. To add to that, in 1998, I won $100 on a scratch off lottery ticket!
    Whoop whoop!
    That was good times.

  27. On another, semi-related subject, ye ole coal terminal....

    The terminal described as an "economic win" for Washington. So the mayor buries the results of the reports and it doesn't come out until 5 weeks later, as a result of a public request....

    Typical. It doesn't fit the agenda, it must be discredited. If it can't be discredited, it must be hidden. Mark these words, ridicule is coming next. You will hear word like "Big Coal", "Irresponsible developers", "Halliburton", and similar demonizing terms.

    Oh yeah, did you see the confirmation that was "reluctantly released", that we are actually in a cooling trend on the planet?

    Stop the Eco-mafia

  28. In 1998 news of the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke.

    Mere coincidence?

    We think not!

  29. Actually it is beginning to look like the more adult elements in the Democratic Leadership Council are reacting a bit cool to this Northwest Coal Train caper.

    Three hundred million lifted out of poverty in hardly two decades. That matters. Humanity should be proud. But the cost in pollution is real and needs to get addressed. That won't happen over night.

    Transitional fuels leading toward long term renewables are part of the strategy of real sustainable development.

    Weaning China and India NOW from dirty soft high sulfur coal to less dirty carbon emitting hard low sulfur coal is part of that strategy. Why would we obstruct that?

    The FOSJ and their ilk couldn't give a damn about reality or balancing the trade deficit, which is also a strategic priority towards long range sustainable development.

    Once you dig into this you start to see that this is not about the environment, energy or sustainable development.

    Just money and power.

  30. What are the odds that FOSJ sues to prohibit Downrigger's and the other businesses from re-establishing their businesses. Due to violations of the Shoreline regs? Do they have the cojones to anger the majority of Islanders?

  31. The Friends generally pick on softer targets, like 82-year old widow who want to sell their B&B and finally retire, or award-winning small restaurant owners who want to grow blueberries.

  32. @4:45
    I guess we will see what "non-conforming" really means, at least in the town. One thing worth mentioning, regarding the CAO, the "non-conforming" provisions actually seem like an improvement over the old version.
    Now that I mention it, probably gets tossed by he GMHB. Oh well
    I hope the employees of Downriggers and the other biz's affected can rebuild quickly.
    Unless one of them is a whale watch tour boat, they can stay shut.

  33. I was interviewed months ago for the MRC during the Winter Council, first by Council members, then by the then-Chair of the MRC.

  34. 1:23
    You're so good at nut-shelling the holes in the anti coal terminal (so called) arguments. Those arguments seem to be empty ideology based on self-perceptions as saviors or something. Or call it emotion w/out rational.

    I think an important point is the fact that very likely it will re-locate right across the border and we will lose any ability to monitor safeguards.

    I'm convinced that most of the people fighting it are basing their opinion on an unrealistic ideal that they are at the same time sabotaging by passing the terminal control to our Canadian neighbors (who have a pretty poor track record w/the environment!). Relinquishing control!

    They've not thought out the reality at all.

    Any chance you could write a letter to the editor so a more general public can have this to chew on? Your comment is so well put!

  35. Interesting item about public records requests in the Journal

    Ruckelhaus Center to weigh in on tug-of-war over public records requests

  36. @ 1:23

    Thanks, I'll keep my powder dry for the moment, ;-) Plus, this issue is just starting to roll ...

    The argument that the coal will simply ship out through Vancouver ports is pretty compelling. Will someone tell me that won't happen and why? There will be local opposition but enough to turn the tide? Same ships through Haro Straits one way or the other. Thus, the FOSJ are urging us and the County to give up any control or influence we might otherwise have. Dumb.

    But the EcoMafia doesn't care if it translates into votes in '14 for 40th District and Bellingham/Whatcom races.

    I think the carbon math is pretty interesting (and I could be wrong, not sure, others please weigh in). But, compute carbon emitted by soft sulfur coal burned in India/China for power (and increasingly so in years to come).

    Now, compute the offset REDUCTION in carbon emissions if a significant portion of that power were generated by hard, low sulfur coal instead, over the same time-frame?

    That's part of the calculus here. No doubt a Devil's bargain, coal can get nasty out there. But guaranteed the FOSJ and their ilk only see this as a divisive campaign issue to get their ideological cranks elected. They don't want you to think big picture.

    They just want to scare you into voting for the wrong people. That's all they know how to do.

  37. Ms. Kivisto has written a piece on the CD takeover plan for the salmon program--omitting all reference to the real issues, of course.

    She says: "The decision of which entity is the fiscal agent must be jointly designated by county, city and tribal governments. Rosenkotter has contacted the eight tribes involved. If she obtains agreement from them she will present the request to the County Council and the Town Council. If both councils approve the Conservation District will become the fiscal agent."

    The "savings" of moving the program back to the CD has grown to $10,000. Wonder how that happened?

    And Rosenkotter is a county employee. So she's been working against the county while employed by the county. Way to go.

    I wonder why the tribes get asked the questions first? And those eight aren't really in our area, are they?

  38. Can anyone tell us what we got for our $11 million in tax dollars to the salmon program?

  39. I don't know what we got, but the salmon didn't get anything. This is a fish story for sure, or maybe it should be called a "sham-on" story, because it's a total sham. These are salmon restoration projects? They contribute as much to saving salmon as surfing contributes to the economy of North Dakota.

    The whole program and everyone involved with it are frauds.

  40. In the August 3rd through 9th The Economist there is an interesting opinion on Yesterday's 12. Seems pertinent.

  41. Maybe we can all switch to powering our cars and heating our houses by burning grant money. Seems like there is no shortage. It's "green".

  42. According to Ms. Kvisto, "All of the [salmon recovery?] projects are voluntary. Landowners cannot be coerced into participating". Hmmmm. If the CD becomes the fiscal agent for such projects, and the CD operations are funded in part by a local property tax, aren't landowners being coerced into participating? What am I missing?

  43. Interesting article. Notable that years of warning about peak oil have fallen by the wayside. It is actually the consumption of oil that is peaking, possible in 2005. Fracking and natural gas have opened huge reservoirs world wide no one predicted a few years ago. Engines become more energy efficient by the year. People's habits are changing.

    But this article focuses on transportation fuels, not for electrical power, and it is in that energy sector that coal plays a role. However, given the boom in natural gas with new extraction technology the potential for conversion of existing plants from coal to gas, and new plants gets really interesting ...

    In the future, maybe not coal trains and ships but LNG will pass near by.


  44. I remember learning as a kid that oil was the green option of the day, and the Economist article opens with that idea. Oil was used in place of whale blubber for making lamp oil. I also remember hearing from my older teachers, my grandparents, and even my parents that, before the automobile, manure choked the streets of the cities where they lived.

    I wonder what Shireene would say about that.

  45. I've never posted on here before, but fossil fuel issues are a topic of interest to me, and the "Power Past Coal" movement is irrational.

    There has been a natural gas glut for a generation or more, and the only thing that has changed recently is that the cost of natural gas' competitor fuels has risen to the point where natural gas is now significantly economically viable. Since the opening of the Prudhoe Bay fields, which is among the largest gas fields in the US in addition to being the largest oil field, it was cheaper just to flare off the gas than transport it to the Lower 48. We still don't transport North Slope gas, but in the past, the gas couldn't be transported and sold for anything even close to a profit. Now there is a proposal to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. Time will tell if the political climate will allow it to go forward. I can envision a time when the Power Past Coal people will try to stop that too.

    The penetration of natural gas into the power generation and transportation markets is one of the greatest untold stories regarding greenhouse gases. While natural gas emits carbon dioxide like all fossil fuels, it has a much lower ratio of carbon emissions per BTU than almost any other kind of fossil fuel, which is why we always hear about "clean burning natural gas." The reason why the coal producers of the Powder River Basin are looking for export markets is because natural gas has taken giant bites out of coal's share of the power generation market in the U.S.

    Powder River coal itself was brought into production because of the Clean Air Act, since it emits less sulfur than coal that is mined elsewhere.

    Despite what many people may believe or allege, the tale of fuel use globally has been one of increasing sustainability over time. We have progressively and steadily moved towards cleaner sources of energy that solve pollution problems and fuel our global economy in more sustainable ways. It's not a tale of disaster. It's a tale of evolution, improvement, and success. Cheap, high-BTU fuels lead to economic growth, raise people out of poverty, improve living standards, people begin to demand better living conditions and a better environment, which shifts fuel use to cleaner fuels, and so on. In short, it's the Environmental Kuznets curve.

    Unfortunately, we have people in our midst who think the choice shouldn't be between gas and oil, or high-sulfur coal and low-sulfur coal. They think we should deprive people of energy period. They want to create an artificial energy crisis to bring about a Malthusian end of times that they hope will hurt everyone but themselves. Higher living standards in China will lead to a cleaner world because the Chinese themselves will begin to demand it, if their living standards go up enough.

    Poverty causes pollution. Higher living standards are the antidote. If you want to clean up the environment, ship coal to China.

  46. @9:23

    Thank you for a well written summary piece about the recent "war on coal". If you have any good links, feel free to post them here. Myself and probably a few other readers are always looking for additional information that is deemed worthy of review by others.


  47. Even with aggressive transitioning to alternative fuels we will still emit a vast quantity of carbon into the atmosphere, so we need to prepare for that future instead of pretending it's avoidable:

  48. @ 0923
    You are absolutely correct, the contrived environmental movement is the creation of the communist remnants; knowing the brand name of communism has forever been, and rightly so, become a pariah, they re-branded themselves "environmentalist" and now push their communist agenda under its guise, but make no mistake it is the communist party.
    The tenants of communism and environmentalism are the same:
    1. wealth distribution by force of government and regulation
    2. End of private property and private property rights
    3 Anti-religion, anti-christian in particular
    4 Anti capitalism and free markets
    5 Thought control through demagogue
    6 Indoctrination of youth through the education system

    Read that list carefully, it's correct and illustrates the FACT that environmentalists and their ilk are the communist party re-branded and more insidious than ever.

  49. @ 10:37 PM

    Yes. Climate change compels adaptability, agility. Change management. Humans are a very adaptable species. But they don't like change much. Especially fundamentalists. We have a problem with fundamentalists these days.

    Including our own, local Environmental Taliban.

    The word resilience is really important, it is the opposite of brittleness. After a few good earthquakes, humans with resources, not bound in poverty, learn to construct buildings that bend and absorb shocks, rather than shatter from rigidness.

    Now apply the concept of resilience and apply it to environmental and land use regulation. At a certain point, regulation and especially pointless, irrational and ideologically driven regulations rammed through by an Environmental Taliban, and what do you have?

    Brittleness. Rigidity. Loss of resilience. A strait jacket inhibiting agility, adaptability in the face of climate change.

    Our Ecomafia is a religious fundamentalist sect, about as crazy as the Taliban, a true Environmental Taliban who only know how to scold, intimidate and destroy.

  50. @ 0923

    Pretty much true, hiding behind the flag of environmentalism and behind the donkey's ass of the Democratic Party, some distance from the mainstream.

    We are dealing with a parasite seeking out hosts. The Democratic Party sort of became an unwitting host to this disease because, well, the Democratic Party tends to do an overall better job on environmental policy than the other guys, Ruckelshaus notwithstanding.

    That said, the problem is one of blow-back. Tell enough lies and stir up enough raw emotion through the media to fuel your cause, keep feeding that media monster and eventually, inevitably that monster will turn and start feeding on you.

    The tragedy is that yes we do have serious environmental problems, yes human activity contributes global climate changes that we have to get a grasp on. But by falsifying data, demonizing enemies, stomping on civil rights and creating fear over nonexistent catastrophe only leads to more public doubt and alienation.

    And the media monster will bite back.

  51. @9:23 pm wrote:

    "They think we should deprive people of energy period. They want to create an artificial energy crisis to bring about a Malthusian end of times that they hope will hurt everyone but themselves."

    Well said - that's exactly what the ecoMafia (i.e., Powerpastcoal) thinks. Make no mistake - the wet dream of the anti-energy taliban posting on LopezRocks and elsewhere is a world without energy or electronics. They'd be ecstatic if an EMP war sent the entire world back to the stone age.

  52. @David Hume

    The eco-Taliban wouldn't last a month around here if that happened. It won't all be happy circles of rocks, candles, and talking sticks.

  53. According to the party line, "All of the [salmon recovery?] projects are voluntary" Really?

    Good to question this. The so called salmon people in this county do not operate to assist voluntary measures. They continue to seek out "violators" and push to target and remove dams, ponds or any private land alterations that they deem problematic for the teeming throngs of spawning salmonids in the out Deer Harbor and False Bay!
    No effort is made to address actual habitat issues on county owned land. Must be no grant money in that.

  54. Since the conversation has slowed and there are no new blogs I went back a couple weeks and was re-reading things.

    I'm particularly curious about something concerning Kit Rawson. He expresses a feeling of being attacked and doesn't understand that. my re-reading I re-visited his email response to Barbara R's request for names and addresses. This is what he said...

    "Here are the names of the tribes and tribal chairs (in alphabetical order), along with others to whom the letter should probably be sent. As far as honorifics go, treat the tribal chairs as you would treat any other executive level leader of government."

    This more than implies Kit's knowledge of and support of a plan that has been previously discussed.

    Kit, does this help you understand? Your response inspires the opposite of trust.

    I've posted this in the comments on that post but thought you might not see it so am re-posting here.

    I'm wishing to know what your thoughts and rational were when you said " whom the letter should probably be sent". "Should" being the important word for me. And what are your thoughts concerning Barbara's choice to elicit a powerful support of something that I personally could not support in any way. And...can you understand my reasoning for disliking Ms. R's plan? I'd love answers to all of those questions. I believe I've asked three.

    I hope I don't hear "business as usual" because Ms. R is tampering with my life w/out my support.

    August 28, 2013 at 9:07 AM

  55. MLKJr would be disgusted with the way the government that works for us behaves. Discriminatory, self-promotion and wasteful. The San Juan Islands Conservation District, the MRC, the LIO and their affiliates have no moral compass. Time to demand change because the truth will set us free-HA to be free at last of these scums.

  56. It dawned on me today that ECK is to SJ County what Glenn Beck is to America. Finally someone is able to present a clear picture of what has gone wrong. And both get trashed by people who won't read or listen but just parrot what they have heard or been told to think. Maybe there is hope!

  57. @3:40
    Sorry but the comparison makes my stomach turn. Eeeuw! Please! For the sake of unity...

  58. Hmmm. I like ECK. Beck is a multi-millionaire raving lunatic in thrall to the ruling class. ECK, nah, not so much.

    By the way, whatever became of Coal Train Kevin?

  59. @8:27 9:07 AM. Sorry that you misunderstood my use of "should." This was simply in response to her query about how to communicate with the tribes in a way that would get to someone who would actually pay attention and act on the matter (one way or the other). So, besides the chair there are key staff listed. It would be like sending something to the chief of staff and not just the president, for example. Quite honestly, this was just an attempt to be helpful in terms of having the communication go to someone who would advise the tribal authorities of what the issue is so they could decide how to respond. Noting sinister, i assure you, but, honestly too, thanks for asking me directly. i appreciate that.

    To get the support of x number of entities, you have to approach them in some order. Barbara chose to approach the tribes first. I had no idea what order she was using, as it was really none of my business. Sometimes in these cases, entities like the county county council don't want to decide where a group decision is needed until they can know what the other parties re going to say. Clearly, in this case, that was the wrong approach, or at least the readers of the TH clearly feel that way. I am surprised, though, that none of the tribal respondents asked if the county was on board.

    I don't understand your reasoning for disliking the move of the WRIA 2 lead entity program to the Conservation District. I thought it was a good idea and still do. My sense is that ECK couldn't care less if this program was under the county or the CD. He (or she) seems to be complaining about the approach taken rather than the substance of the proposal. But, if the end result of this is to keep the salmon recovery program under the county government, with more focus and interest in it from the elected county officials, then that might be good for the program.

    As always, I would really appreciate knowing who my questioner is. Who are you? Can you please say?

  60. Back to Rosenkrantz. Why did she feel the need to angle through Kit Rawson to figure out how to approach tribal leaders?

    Isn't that part of her job, salmon recovery being important to the tribes and tribal representatives involved in the program Barbara runs or runs with?

    For that matter, if the County as fiscal agent had ALREADY DECIDED they preferred the CD to become fiscal agent, then wouldn't be more appropriate for those communications to take place between the Council and the Tribal honchos?

    Barbara is acting above her paygrade.

    You see it works like this, campers. First, the fiscal agent decides in open public session that they don't want to be fiscal agent any more. Then, while they are still fiscal agent they reach out and do the deal with the successor.

    But, Barbara does not represent the issues of the fiscal agent. The County Council does that. Barbara is a worker bee who represents the salmon recovery program, at the pleasure of the fiscal agent, I might add.

    So, even if the program were transferred, I'd say all employment with Barbara would be severed, not automatically moved along with the filing cabinets and chairs.

    Sorry, the Conservation District will be in the position of needing to put out an a job announcement, reviewing candidates and hiring a new manager.

    Who's to say the new fiscal agent would prefer to do things a bit differently than the old fiscal agent? Especially if they feel they can improve program services and reduce overhead.

    But ... that is not what is going on. Kit knows it. Barbara knows it. Jamie knows it. Ron knows it ...

  61. If Ron Zee had a son, he would probably be named Grant.

  62. $65 million dollars in dedicated money for puget sound salmon. Who wouldn't want to be a "fiscal agent". Heck, probably pays better than getting a measly 85k grant that you actually have to do a study for.

    65 MILLION DOLLARS. If you were a hard working carpenter, say you really hustled, and made a decent wage (I'll pick a nice number here to help out those who may have degrees in individual studies) say, $65,000 per year. After 10 years, you would have $650,000. After 100 years, you would have 6.5 Milly. That's right, it would take working full time for 1,000 years to make 65 million dollars. ONE THOUSAND YEARS.
    Instead, Zee and his ilk are angling, plotting, subverting, and scheming to grub a piece of this pie. That is reason enough. It takes to damn long to work hard and earn it. Much quicker to grift it or swindle it.
    Disgusting grant grubbers.

  63. Here's an overlooked excerpt from Kit's comment in #5:
    "I am sorry that people seem to think I am part of some group that is trying to run and destroy your lives. Nothing could be farther from the truth -- I am part of no group, and I actually agree with you on many, perhaps the majority, of your issues. But as long as you persist in these slanders and attacks..." Perhaps the majority of the message he supports, he just doesn't care for the way the message is delivered. I will agree with Kit that some of the comments are mean- spirited and sometimes just silly, reflecting the pent-up anger and frustration of folks who follow the TH. My suggestion to him is to limit his TH reading to the main post and turn his energy toward working together to solve our common issues

  64. @8:19

    While some of the comments here may be "mean spirited" they are merely words.
    The tribal fishing practices, as protected by treaty, on the other hand, represent actual real world devistation and destruction of the very thing that the MRC, Kit and Rosentrotter claim they are trying to "protect". So yeah, we might throw some harsh language and labels ar these fuckin hypocrite Eco fascists that are depicting us as the bad guys while the tribes absolutely RAPE mother earth.

  65. @ 11:09 AM

    Think about the MRC, the NW Straits Commission, the FOSJ and the tribal government relationship on your next Costco run out HWY 20 while driving past the BIG CASINO AND GASOLINE STATION ON THE TIDAL FLATS.

    You know, hardly a half mile out in Fidalgo Bay is the Tommy Thompson Bike Trail, crossing the old railway bridge. There's a public exhibit in the middle all about eelgrass, salmon, the delicate ecology of the tidal flats and you can gaze to the CASINO in the distance. Oh, and the display also goes on to describe how the northern sound, Bellingham, Anacortes, San Juans is the healthiest, most pristine marine region for eel grass, blah blah yadda yadda.

    The hypocrisy is just mind boggling.

  66. Maybe a little relief from the necessary CD discussion; today on approach to Roche there were seven boats under power in heavy rain and low fog, maybe mist, and three large ships passed turn point on Stuart Island with all of them able to do so without running over any of us. These large ships, one headed South and two headed North, went by turn point in less than one hour.

    Yes, we have radios and hopefully the common sense to stay clear of these behemoths, and I did chew a couple of fingers down a bit, but imagine if you will that this goes on every hour most every day and maybe night.

    Sleep well. Unlike the prognostications of outfits like FOSJ, things are going pretty good.

  67. It still is appalling that FOSJ gets our grant money and tax exempt status then turns around and sues citizens for development that happens to be next door to their wealthy donors who have theirs and don't want anyone else to have some.
    I sincerely hope that the shift and awakening we saw at this last local election will continue. I hope that Kyle the bed wetter Loring and his Frauds of the San Juans are shut down. Cut off funding.
    Hope someone is pursuing their blatant abuse of tax exempt status.

  68. Isn't the GMHB decision coming down soon?
    What are the odds that the reply is something like this:
    "We have never witnessed such a well crafted and well thought out piece of environmental legislation in the history of mankind. Praise and accolades should be heaped on its author. The only thing surpassing the excellence of the written word was the process used to achieve such a glorious work, frankly a masterpiece. Let this legislation be an example for jurisdictions across the world to behold. Infact, the profound wisdom of both word and process should be used as a model not just for planning in this world, but for future generations of humanity as they chart out in to our solar system. Indeed, interstellar and someday, intergalactic regulation will be necessary, and, with the San Juan County CAO, we have a document without peer that can serve as a planning guide for any city, town, country, planet, solar system, or parsec of the universe. Let not just humans reap the rich rewards of this document, but species of all planets. Let this word be translated into pips and squeaks and digital code so that dolphins and squid and extraterrestrial alike may rejoice in its accomplishment.

    They could come out with something like that. What are the chances?
    Or is it more likely that close to half of the GMHB members will need the benefit of a 12 step program to pare back their newly found coping mechanism, having been made to suffer months of deliberation of this document?

    Probably something in the middle. Can't wait.

  69. Well as the mainland enviro consultants who often journeyed here to the islands back in the early days of the San Juan Initiative the the Coronation of Kevin, were well known to say:

    "If we can pull this off here, we can do this anywhere."

    Remember, when correctly viewed, any area is critical. Here or the Greater Magellanic Cloud.

  70. @ 12:03 am said "It still is appalling that FOSJ gets our grant money and tax exempt status then turns around and sues citizens for development that happens to be next door to their wealthy donors who have theirs and don't want anyone else to have some. "

    No, it's far worse than that. There's actually a *direct* connection between the wealthy donors and the actions by FOSJ - in some cases a VERY direct connection. LIke maybe the consultants & other expenses are directly arranged by the individuals and the only FOSJ involvement is paying the invoices *after* appropriate quid pro quo contributions are made to FOSJ. Legal and lobbying expenses paid for by the individuals wouldn't be tax deductible. Arguably, it wouldn't even be added to their property's basis. OTOH, if the expenses are routed through FOSJ and FOSJ is the titular payor of the expenses, voila - nondeductible expenses are magically turned into qualified contributions to a charitable organization under 501(c)(3). If the words "sham", "front", "scam" are bubbling up in your mind, maybe it's not just random synapses firing.

    Are some of these same wealthy donors advocating registering as voters at a residence that isn't their domicile in order to influence elections in SJC? Would it surprise you?

    Extra credit question - Here's something else to ponder: Suppose you personally oppose the expansion of a business. You've argued long, loudly and publicly that the business is already a bad neighbor, during summer months causing noise, garbage, traffic, dust and dirt in the immediate area, thereby inconveniencing all of the neighbors. Assume one of the reasons you're so vociferous about the alleged problems is that you live in a house directly behind said business. Now assume that your house is for sale. Query: is the alleged problem neighbor (the resort) a condition requiring disclosure on Form 17 under WA state statute RCW 64.06.020? I'm not a lawyer & don't know the answer to this, but if I were a seller in this hypothetical situation, I'd damn sure consult an attorney.

  71. @2:17

    I LOVE your post. So completely right on. I pray that the commissioners read this blog and the comments. So much brilliance!

  72. A barking dog must be documented, so you can bet this nuisance situation must be too.

  73. Remove the Zee family and the Lyshall - Schultz - Gregory WSU controlling parties.
    Amazing use of island resources (and ignorance) to line their own pockets!
    Non-profit? Stewardship? Conservation? No!
    Political scam artists who do nothing but spend tax money!