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Fox’s vs. Skagit County, Dept. of Ecology and the Swinomish Indians

 

2014-07-25_1230 If you wonder why the things are so messed up in Washington State, you have no further to look than the idiotic lengths that our own governments will go to insure that private land owners will no longer have adequate access to water…even when it’s available. The Fox’s have the water, they had their property divided up, they had everything ready to go rightfully in their effort to build their retirement home. Now their golden years are being consumed by bogus arguments that there’s not enough water.

At a recent water forum, Department of Ecology’s Water Resource Manager, Tom Loranger had this to say:

When you look at water overall on an annualized basis there is no problem whatsoever, but there are tiny sectors of the calendar year when it can affect water levels. It is these small peak periods that need to be dealt with.

So why are we bullying people like the Fox’s? Why aren’t we dealing with the small peak periods of the summer that water “could” be an issue? Missed within all of this is the fact that water drawn from a well has an 85% – 90% return rate to the aquifer and the amount of water drawn by private well owners is miniscule in comparison to municipalities and industry.

Here is a message from Zachary J. Barborinas, Just Water Alliance, www.justwateralliance.org:

For those of you looking to support Mr. Fox, please let me know and I can direct you.  A few of you have provided assistance and every bit helps, so thank you.  Mr. Fox cannot go about this alone and needs support from his community as he seeks legal access to water for us all.

Stay tuned. There’s more angst and concern headed everyone’s way with regards to, “Who controls the water?”

~ Kris Halterman

See comments below. No question this case will have implications in our own Whatcom county.  In our own Lummi reservation groundwater settlement with the Lummis, DOE gave up what should have been complete State control of all the ground water.  The acreage owners had their 1,000 gal a day exemption taken away and were left with under 400 gal. a day, with their use to be monitored.  This quantity will not even support a hobby farm let alone a garden, with fruit trees.  And understand, fisheries didn’t even enter into the equation for this settlement.

Regards,

Marlene Dawson

—–Original Message—–
From: Zachary Barborinas <info@justwateralliance.org>
To: Skagit Watershed <info@justwateralliance.org>
Sent: Thu, Jul 24, 2014 4:11 pm
Subject: Fox v. Skagit County: Ecology and Swinomish Tribal Community Intervene

UPDATE:  Fox v. Skagit County

As most of you know, Mr. Fox is a property owner in Sedro Woolley looking to downsize and build his retirement home.  However, due to the 2001 Instream Flow Rule here in the Skagit Watershed, he currently has no legal access to water – so says Ecology.  Yesterday, Mr. Fox and his attorney spent his first day in court battling against these five attorneys above (left to right:  two Swinomish Tribal Attorneys, two Ecology Attorneys from AGs Office, one Skagit County Attorney – not shown was another Skagit County attorney and a third Swinomish attorney).  The bulk of the hearing dealt with Ecology and the Swinomish Tribe motion to intervene in the case.  As a result of their request and the law regarding such a motion, Superior Court Judge George Appel has allowed both the Department of Ecology and Swinomish Tribal Community to intervene in Mr. Fox’s case. Therefore, they will help oppose Mr. Fox’s building permit for his property by detailing why they believe there is no legal access to water.  Due to this decision, the hearing will continue on a yet-to-be specified date in the next three months as Ecology and the Swinomish were provided time by the judge to prepare for the case. The silver lining is that the court’s decision will now bind the Tribe and bind Ecology, in addition to the County – assuming it is favorable to Mr. Fox.  Ecology’s attorney even said, in their argument to intervene, that the decision of this judge will have sweeping impacts throughout the state of Washington. Now is the time to get involved for all people across the state.

For the full article, by Daniel DeMay, in the Skagit Valley Herald please go to:  http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/skagit-water-rights-issue-back-in-court/article_a9cd0838-39d4-57d7-aad5-198fadb88b4f.html.

For those of you looking to support Mr. Fox, please let me know and I can direct you.  A few of you have provided assistance and every bit helps, so thank you.  Mr. Fox cannot go about this alone and needs support from his community as he seeks legal access to water for us all.

If you are involved with SICBA, Farm Bureau, REALTORs, CAPR, Ground Water Association, or any other group you feel could support this cause, please reach out to your local chapter and let them know your concerns.  In addition, some of you are reaching out to our elected officials as well.  Please continue to make your voice heard.  It is helping and needs to continue. Thank you all for packing the court room on the 23rd!

Regards,

Zachary J. Barborinas

Just Water Alliance

www.justwateralliance.org

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