Northwest NEWS

January 11, 1999


Salmon Recovery program could add to the potential havoc

   At a time when Washington State farmers are suffering from low prices for their commodities, the dumping of imports from foreign countries, the exclusion of foreign temporary workers at harvest time by the federal government, and the collapse of foreign markets due to the machinations of members of the international financial community, it makes one shudder at the added potential havoc that will ensue due to the misguided, scientifically-void Salmon Recovery program proposed by Governor Gary Locke.

   In his policy draft, "Extinction is Not an Option," it states, "Individual farmers will be the first level of the accountability system."

   Also, it adds, "...with enhanced enforcement of existing environmental laws and regulations," "...implementation monitoring," "...default actions," "...random audits," "...federal sanctions," "...increased enforcement," and "...identify farms that are not in compliance and report this information to the appropriate agency."

   The draft talks about a "farm plan," but there is no farm plan described, only "enforcement sanctions." The draft, as written, is not about saving salmon, but it is about the extinction of farmers.

   "The amount of 'surplus' fish and eggs is quite large. Between 1980 and 1992, the state hatcheries sold $4,943,790.00 in carcasses and $4,651,134.00 in eggs." (The Citizen's News, March 19, 1994, Judy Hatton, citing WDFW documents.) "At the above prices, that would be 5 to 10 million carcasses and one-half to one billion in eggs." (Dr. Robert Crittenden, "Two Studies of Public Policy in Washington State: The Elite Planners and Salmon at Risk." 1995, p. 57.)

   The Snohomish County Farm Bureau is sponsoring a public meeting Jan. 14 at the Garden City Grange Hall, 800 2nd St., Snohomish, Washington, at 7 p.m. to further examine this program of potential destruction aimed at Washington State Farmers.

Don Kehoe, president, Snohomish County Farm Bureau