By Dave Hallock
The Marblemount Community Center was crowded last night with concerned citizens who came to share their views on the Barnaby Reach project as well as other issues they wanted to discuss with our our State Representative Elizabeth Scott.
Thank you, Representative Scott, for coming to meet with us and express your support!
Thank you, Skagit County Commissioner Ken Dahlstedt for coming and expressing support for the efforts we are making to protect and preserve our community as we work with the Barnaby project sponsors to find a win-win solution for our neighbors and wildlife.
Thank you, Tina Champeaux and Mike Newman, of the Skagit County Citizen’s Alliance for Property Rights, for coming with many supportive neighbors!
We also appreciated that Keith Wagoner the new mayor of Sedro-Woolley came as well. Thank you, Mayor Wagoner!
Our three designated members of the Barnaby project’s stakeholder advisory committee each gave good presentations to update the audience. Christie Fairchild summarized a list of questions that had been presented to the Skagit River System Cooperative at a community meeting in Rockport in December, and the responses received thus far. Both Howard Stafford and Russ Dalton shared their views on the project and how they see it going at this time. Thank you Christie, Howard and Russ for representing our community to the steering committee of the Barnaby project, which is composed of representatives of Seattle City Light, The Nature Conservancy, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
I appreciated Ken Dahlstedt’s empathic and encouraging comments regarding our situation and his advice to continue to speak up and speak out. He encouraged letter writing, communicating with our elected public officials, posting on this website, attendance at meetings, including going to Skagit County commissioner meetings to speak during public comment times, and good dialog with the Barnaby project sponsors. I heard him say that if the community could find a solution which supports salmon habitat which is acceptable to the community in terms of our welfare and safety, he thinks it can be worked out with the project sponsors. My sense was that commissioner Dahlstedt is more understanding and empathic with our community than he appeared to be some months ago. I appreciated our neighbor Denton Moore challenging commissioner Dahlstedt’s prior televised remarks which came across as dismissive, and the commissioner’s evident shift in understanding.
Thank you Elizabeth Scott for coming out to meet with us! And, thank you to your staff as well!
It’s great when an elected representative takes the initiative to come listen carefully and respond to serious concerns our neighbors have, not only about the risks associated with an aggressive habitat development project which has hazardous design features, but also about property rights issues.
I asked representative Scott if she would be willing to write something in support of our community and she readily accepted. We will look forward to reading what Representative Scott has to say. Hopefully State Senator Kirk Pearson and State Representative, Dan Kristiansen, will join in supporting our community’s determination to protect our community in the face of an ill-conceived and dangerously aggressive habitat project.
If you attended the meeting and would like to share your views about the Barnaby project or any other issue discussed in the meeting, please feel free to submit something to us. You are welcome to comment on this article or write one yourself. There were some very enlightening views and stories last night. One that struck me had to do with a neighbor’s efforts to save stranded salmon and being told he could not do that, resulting in their death, which really makes one wonder about a $20 million project with design features which would put our community in harms way. This led several well-informed citizens to offer their insights that projects like this are largely about money, specifically preserving the flow of massive amounts of federal grant money. It would be great if these insights could be shared here by the folks who expressed them last night.
I’d like to give a special public thanks to two neighbors who worked especially hard to make this large community meeting successful: Christie Fairchild and Beth Easterday. Thanks to Beth Easterday for all her work in providing lots of information for the meeting, supplying comment forms, and her great job moderating it! Thanks to Christie Fairchild also for arranging the hall, setting up everything, and for all her work constructing a time line to help everyone have a good chronological understanding of the Barnaby project.
Thanks everyone for coming to our community meeting in Marblemount.1 comment