I'd like to see a countywide referendum where every county resident could vote to ensure that all new development is required to pay impact fees to cover the cost of the publicly funded services it requires. I would vote to establish the Chuckanut Community Forest Park District if I could. I hope this effort succeeds, and I support citizens having the opportunity to vote to tax themselves for this purpose. I much prefer tax dollars support the preservation of a forest rather than pay for the impacts of the development that occurs when a forest is converted to residential use.
Once the Department of Natural Resources approves a forest practices application, DNR rules trump city and county regulations. It doesn't matter if the forest is in the Lake Whatcom watershed, even if that forest is designated a critical aquifer recharge area for Lake Whatcom, or if it is designated a fish and wildlife habitat conservation area or a geologically hazardous area according to Whatcom County critical areas maps.
The east side of Squalicum Mountain is so designated, and it is being clear cut right now. My neighbors and I spent over $100,000 trying to preserve this forest through legal challenges and a land acquisition effort. May the effort to preserve the 100 Acre Wood succeed. It will be a victory for the entire community. Thank you to those who are working so diligently on this issue.