This seems one of those actions by government that shows they have to get out of their ivory towers once in a while and experience the world of those they govern. (See Capital Press story) As part of the dreadful WA Supreme Court decision called “Hirst” the legislature set up a system led by Ecology to determine who gets water and how much. Water is pretty important for growing our food. But Ecology has decided that while representatives from groups like the Sierra Club and the Environmental Law and Policy Center can be directly represented, but farmers need to be represented by government employees. By the way, both of those environmental groups have a history of anti-farm activism–see “What’s Upstream” campaign for proof.
To be fair, many within Conservation Districts are very knowledgeable about farming issues and are very helpful to farmers. Others, not so much. But that is beside the point. What matters is that these committees are doing work that may very well impact availability of water for growing food for years to come and Ecology doesn’t think farmers should have a seat at that table. Seems Director Maia Bellon may want to rethink that and the best way may be to hear directly from some unhappy farmers and farm supporters.