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Bob Larson Skagit Farmers and Swinomish Tribe Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: July 20, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Good news for farmers in Skagit County after the local community wrote Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke in support of growers worried about a local tribe gaining jurisdiction over land beyond the reservation.

Save Family Farming’s Gerald Baron says the Swinomish were seeking constitutional changes giving the tribe jurisdiction over areas they claim interest, which appears to include much of Skagit County …

GERALD BARON … “We just received a letter from the Secretary making it very clear that even though they approved the constitution change, that it does not in any way mean that the Swinomish can expand their reservation boundaries as they were attempting to do. Nor does it mean that they can expand, in any way, their jurisdiction beyond what currently exists.”

Baron says it was more about what’s been said, not what’s written …

GERALD BARON … “The Swinomish have shown in the past 20 years, that they have the intention of limiting, restricting, or even getting rid of agriculture in Skagit County. And they’re doing it primarily through legal attacks and political attacks on the infrastructure, on the drainage, on the farm land and that sort of thing. So, we think that this decision by the Secretary to clarify what that jurisdiction language means will put a real limit on what they will be able to do with this constitution in terms of expanding their jurisdiction.”

Baron says the reason Zinke’s decision is so significant is for what it could mean on a broader spectrum across the country.

Listen tomorrow for more on the decision the local support for farming in the Skagit Valley.

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