Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources places people over profits

Finally Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) did something right.

Once beautiful, our Sky Valley is now a sore thumb among travelers who visit the Sky Valley for recreational purposes.  Once beautiful mountain ranges are now covered with  thousands of dead brown acres like a blacked out area we often saw when Snohomish County Prosecutors answer public records requests under disgraced Prosecutor Mark Roe ( under Adam Cornell, things are better, a story coming soon).  This right in plain view of our most valued Sky Valley treasure, Wallace Falls State Park.

In August 2017, three environmental groups sued, and successfully argued that new environmental studies were required to understand Singletary Timber size and contour. Thankfully, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Millie Judge agreed and in August voided the sale.

“The 25 acres, while we were appreciative of it, really wouldn’t have solved the problem,” attorney Goldman representing environmental groups declared “It really was green lipstick on a pig.”

Over the last two years, DNR officials held meetings with the public to discuss alternative forest practices that would leave more habitat and hiking access intact.

As those forestry discussions continue, it’s unclear whether the County Council’s action will have the intended effect of speeding up the Singletary sale.

Many local residents, visitors and tree huggers like myself who live and vacation around the Sky Valley see all too often is where a once luscious forest grew, clear cutting committed by the timber industry with permission from DNR. What we tree huggers and scientists know well is mature forests provide clean water and air, provide important wildlife and fish a clean and vibrant habitat, and absorb and hold carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change.

Now on the flip side, it’s true the timber industry provides jobs. In the Sky Valley, timber industry results in less than 1 % of the jobs and its second most deadly and underpaid employment career a person can chose. Besides fishing, being a logger is the most deadly job a person can hold and it pays $20 per hour. Here in Washington State, being a logger would provide $38,000.00 per year and provide food and shelter to less than 1 % of the population.

According to Debbie Coppell from the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce “those people ruined the Sky Valley.”  What Ms. Coppell is referring to are tree huggers and environmentalists who care of about the future of America for our grandkids.  This yields one question I pose for Ms. Coppell: Is the timber industry paying you to lobby?

Instead of focusing in on job creation here in the Sky Valley Ms. Coppell teamed up with a former Mayor, Joe Beavers, a convicted felon from Texas.  Mr. Beavers and Ms. Coppell have spent over 2000 hours advocating for the timber industry, claiming, falsely, that the Sultan School system relies heavily on timber sales.

Public records document that Sultan Public Schools do gain $40,000.00 per year from timber sales.  Small businesses and growth are the big gains for the Sky Valley, which provide 44 % of public school funding, while property owners provide the bulk.

So what are Sultan Chamber of Commerce Debbie Coppell and convicted felon and former Gold Bar Mayor Joe Beavers real motive in pushing timber sales?  Perhaps we will never know, but one can assume that it’s not with small business owners nor business growth inside the Sky Valley.  If it was, Ms. Coppell would spend more time talking to small business owners and provide much needed resources to those of us who actually own and operate successful small businesses in the Sky Valley.

Massive state and private commercial logging is destroying the Skykomish Valley, Washington, a part of the famous Cascade Loop and Hwy 2, a National Scenic Byway.  The Debbie Coppell’s of the Valley are misappropriating much needed Chamber Resources like timber, instead of helping small businesses grow.

President Obama had it right “Ninety-eight percent of all American companies have fewer than 100 employees. Over half of all Americans work for a small business. Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy and we must protect this great resource…..Helping American small business is part of our movement for change and the end of politics as usual. “

While in law school, I received the Blue Book in Endangered Species Act, and successfully argued in Moot Court that a tree is more valuable to than human life. Why is simple: a tree provides clean air and water to millions of humans on Mother Earth.  A lesson most humans, and certainly Debbie Coppells’ of our World fail to respect and understand is the magnitude of just how delicate Mother Earth is for our grandchildren’s children.

A question that remains unanswered is: What’s Debbie Coppell’s motive? We may never know, and those who really care about business growth in the Sky Valley were handed a victory last week when DNR announced that it will not forest Singleltary, protecting Mother Earth from human greed for future generations.

At last DNR places people over the small profit that would be gained by clear cutting Singletary, preserving Wallace Falls State Park for visitors and tree huggers like myself.

Protecting our environment against destructive human greed is just as important as exposing corrupt government officials who steal, deplete, and rape our children from obtaining a healthy and happy childhood.  A big win for our future









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