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Environment: No old growth at Camp Casey
I have been following the progress of SPU and its effort to expand Camp Casey. I have stayed at the old officers housing that is available to the public for lodging several times in the past.
I have walked and wandered all over the old fort from one end to the other. I have yet to see the "old growth timber"that has been put at the center of the controversy.I have spent the last 40 years in the forest industry and have been in many an old growth forest. Camp Casey does not qualify as an old growth forest on any of its acreage.
Being an Island County taxpayer I too want to be sure that all landowners in the county are good stewards of the land. It is apparent to me that WEAN has some valid concerns. I think that if the emotional issues are discarded WEAN has a very weak argument. But by using the GMA they have temporarily slowed SPU down and increased the costs.
It is this sort of narrow vision that turned the Growth Management Act into a monster. The GMA needs to be revised and used as a guideline and not a monkeywrench for special interest groups to slow or stop viable projects.
I have no reason to think that SPU will not sell or develop lands for housing if that's what it takes to make the numbers right. Now that would be urban sprawl! Which would be more compatible with the island lifestyle?
We as humans have to be very careful and not "foul our own nest." But we have to take a look into the future. If you throw a stone into a stream it will make a difference downstream.
I am sure that many members of WEAN and groups like WEAN voted a few years ago to stop the State of Washington from selling school trust and Department of Natural Resources timber for export to foreign countries.
It was a very noble movement. It failed to save jobs and the mills it was supposed to save closed.
One thing that was overlooked was that out of every dollar of timber sold 75 cents of that dollar went to build schools. And here you have been wondering why your taxes are so high. Take a look at the portion that goes to schools .
Remember look, downstream before you throw the rock!
Larry E. Ogle