Northwest NEWS

March 22, 1999

Editorial

Dairies are not polluting the streams

   The letter writer who implied only fools would allow their children to float local rivers because of cow manure (fecal coliform) therein, and that Norman Rockwell lifestyles are history, is lacking a few facts.

   The Washington State 1998 Clean Air Action Section 303(d) listing of problem streams shows no problems at all for the Raging River (the river where the kayaker was sucked under the large woody debris and died) and no problems for the Tolt River, and only temperature problems for the Tolt River and only temperature problems for the Snoqualmie River, which are two major tubing and float rivers in King County.

   This means the dairies are not polluting the streams and destroying treasured vestiges remaining from Norman Rockwell's era. In fact, the regulations on dairies are so severe and expensive that many have gone out of business, and their former green pastures are being converted to fast-growing trees to be harvested for wood pulp every 7-10 years.

   As to developers being "allowed to drain our wetlands, pave our stream-banks, and denude our rivers," we're so many years removed from all that, dating from the 1990 adoption of King County's sensitive areas ordinance, that the letter writer must have been sleeping like Rip Van Winkle for the past decade.

   There have been record fish runs through the Sammamish River in its current, straightened flood-controlled state and all without the presence of large woody debris. The latter is merely current Politically Correct thinking, even though there are state laws still on the books requiring the removal of same in order to prevent flood damage from debris dams.

   The other environmental letter in the March 15th edition illustrates how far gone are private property rights. Too many people today regard private land as theirs, and expect it to be regulated and controlled as if it were public land. Today's attitude is that the public interest can be protected only by locking up private land, but still collect the real estate taxes therefrom.

   As to the implications that timber companies and "their scientists" will automatically produce biased, goals-oriented science, that may or may not be true. But the statement is equally true of what the environmentalists are producing nowadays, and government scientists are, too.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville