Dear Friends of Working Forest,
Your help is needed to make sure our voices are heard by the Whatcom County Council, so they are not pressured to reconvey almost 9,000 of commercial forest lands in the Lake Whatcom watershed for a "low impact" park. The involvement and attendance by so many of you at the September 11th hearing convinced the County Executive and Council to further review the proposed reconveyance. A series of work meetings between the Council and Parks Director are being planned.
Tentatively these meetings will be held during the "Council Committee of the Whole" session, when the following subjects will be discussed. The first meeting on January 15th will be at 9:30 am in the council chambers.
January 15th The overall conceptual park plan and the recreation aspects of the plan for the Lake Whatcom lands.
January 29th Forestry consideration when the county controls these forest. What type of forest management plans and how to implement by the county? Councilman's Crawford proposal to keep some of the area available for forest management.
February 12th A fiscal discussion of the proposed reconveyance.
Besides not fully vetting and addressing questions about the proposed reconveyance of these working forests, they have given little consideration to any alternatives. One obvious alternative would leave this land under DNR management, so it could continue to produce timber revenue under the Landscape Plan. Then the county could engage DNR, other private timber land owners, recreation users and others to developed recreation strategies that could greatly expand diverse recreation opportunities even beyond the watershed. We all know that working forest lands can provide great low cost recreation, protect water and wildlife resources, while still being managed for timber revenues.
Please consider becoming involved again in this discussion and feel free to forward this notice to other interested citizens. Contact me if you have any questions.
Thanks for your help,