Crosscut proposes that Property Owners pay for salmon mitigation

The liberals have come up with a “new” solution to save the orcas and salmon. Rather than identifying the problem and solving it (See attached). They have launched another fund raising campaign.

To save salmon, orcas: Make landowners pay
Too few property owners are choosing to improve habitat. Their alternative should be annual payments.

Mitigation for continuing impacts could be accomplished in the form of periodic compensatory habitat enhancements on site or off site, or annual payment of a fee in lieu of physical mitigation. Calculating required mitigation for the continuing impacts of each land parcel would be a big job, but it’s feasible if done in increments.

For example, the first phase could evaluate the impacts on salmon from bulkheads and buffer clearing identifiable via remote sensing. We could then assess annual mitigation for this harm to salmon while work proceeded to evaluate other impacts. Bank hardening missed by remote sensing but identified by inspection from boats could be the second phase. The third could be evaluation of the degree to which each land parcel controls stormwater runoff as well as the presence of mature forest that controls stormwater. (That is, we would check that the runoff rate does not hurt salmon.) Additional impacts could be added to the records of parcels as the evaluation phases continue. Landowners could request site inspections and corrections of the records if they disagree with the assessments calculated from remote sensing or local property records.

This overall effort could quantify the harm to salmon being caused by each land parcel relative to other land parcels in the Puget Sound watershed, allowing equitable assessment of the annual mitigation needed from each parcel. Fees collected in lieu of physical mitigation could be used to pay for the program’s administration, fund habitat projects, and lower property taxes of land that is achieving adequate biological functions.

Read the full article
Crosscut Article by Doug Hennick dated October 15 2018

 

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