February 18, 2008

Letter to the Editor (Seattle Times):

Tell our state legislators to vote against Senate Bill 5318. It requires state fish and wildlife officials to establish regulations to protect the Y2Y (Yellowstone to Yukon) Eco-Region. What starts out as merely voluntary usually accumulates regulations. Since this bill would make it mandatory (not voluntary) for fish and wildlife to “do something,” you can bet they will.

Nobody asked the opinion of residents of northeast Washington, yet the proponents claim to want active local participation. Speechifying on the Capitol floor is a bad way to get local input.

When the National Register of Historic Places was first developed, anybody could place a property on the list, without consulting the property owner. The rule was soon changed under pressure from urban populations to require the property owner’s permission to add this special designation to the property. Sometimes it adds restrictions, sometimes the designation is merely honorary or brings with it increased tourism or tax credits, but it is a voluntary designation. Don’t force the Y2Y Eco-Region on our rural areas just because there are fewer residents to complain.