It concerns me that Seattle senators say they know what's best for eastern Washington.- State Senator Mark Schoesler
AMEN, Mark! A man that eloquent has to be reelected.
Senator Schoesler is our voice of reason in Olympia. I'm so glad my daughter is paging for him this week and gets to see that common sense in action.
From today's Lewiston Tribune:
OLYMPIA - Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, often has to hear west-side legislators preach about what eastern Washingtonians need. This session is no different.
A bill to promote the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative in eastern Washington passed through the Senate Wednesday, though it received almost no support from eastern senators, Schoesler said.
"It concerns me that Seattle senators say they know what's best for eastern Washington," Schoesler said.
The bill would mandate that the Department of Fish and Wildlife work with other ecology groups on Yellowstone to Yukon conservation projects. Though the department would work inside or near Washington's borders, Yellowstone to Yukon project areas span 1,990 miles from Peel River in the northern Yukon to Riverton, Wyo.
Bill sponsor Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle, said the legislation would also dub Spokane the nation's capital for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.
Despite their distance from Spokane, Jacobsen was approached by Seattle residents passionate about Yellowstone to Yukon preservation projects. Schoesler, on the other hand, said no east side groups have an interest in the organization.
"Not a single person from my district has approached me about this," Schoesler said. "I'm in regular contact with sportsmen and landowners and this isn't even within their radius of interest."
Schoesler, along with other bill opponents expressed concern the bill would encourage Yellowstone to Yukon workers to tear down roads in eastern Washington in the name of wildlife preservation.
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Director Sean Britt stressed such action was only taken after ecology workers researched the area and made agreements with the community.
"We wouldn't be against decommissioning a road, but our practice uses working science," Britt said. "We're not about creating one big park or taking out the human species. We're more interested to work and promote coexistence with humans and other species." ["Human species?" Like the animals are equal to us. Unbelievable. - tf]
Britt said Yukon to Yellowstone once helped a fishing outfitter in Island Park, who complained of bears invading his trash cans. The outfitter was supplied with grant money to purchase bear-proof waste bins, so he and his furry neighbors could coexist. The solution harmed neither the bear nor the outfitter.
Terry Gray, president of the Palouse Audubon Society said though he didn't know of the Yukon to Yellowstone program, any conservation projects would greatly help the Palouse, which suffers from clear-cutting and overdevelopment. [The Palouse suffers from "clear-cutting and overdevelopment?" He's joking, right? - tf]
As a part of the conservation area, the Palouse and its dwindling numbers of birds, from the evening grosbeak and grasshopper sparrow, could benefit from the bill. [Hmmmmm. There is no "dwindling number of birds" at the Port of Whitman County Industrial Park where I work. There are Swainson's Hawks, Black-billed Magpies, Red-winged Blackbirds, Ring-necked Pheasants, and California Quail in great abundance - tf]