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Bob Larson Puget Sound Nearshore Project & Impact on Farms Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: August 24, 2017

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I’m Bob Larson. Farmers in three Western Washington counties stand to lose hundreds of acres of prime farm land if a project studied by the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is approved.

Washington Farm Bureau government relations director Tom Davis says the agencies are asking Congress to authorize a salmon recovery project that would eliminate much of the farmer’s livelihood…

TOM DAVIS … “Unfortunately, salmon recovery projects don’t pay taxes and they don’t pay for schools. And in addition to all of that, there has been no communications or, I’ll put it this way, very limited communications between the federal and state agency staff that have been working on this project and the affected land owners on the other end.”

But the good news is, Davis says the agencies claim they won’t use eminent domain to take the property …

TOM DAVIS … “You know I was happy to hear that state Fish and Wildlife Department says they will not use eminent domain. That’s the first time we’ve heard that so that’s very much appreciated. So I’m assuming that means then, if they don’t get every land owner in that area to sell out that they can’t do the project, at least without going eminent domain. So if that’s the truth, then I guess there is some protection for private property rights under this process.”

Fish and Wildlife has indicated it will continue to work to try and sell farmers on the idea even if Congress rejects the project.

The Farm Bureau says it will oppose the $6.9 million in appropriations needed to continue working on the project.

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