Says water rights important to all


I believe Ken Mann's comments in The Bellingham Herald about the Tea Party and the right to drill rural wells were nothing more than inflammatory, and show Ken personally does not realize how serious an issue this is. What does being Tea Party have to do with the right to drill a rural well? I fail to see the comparison, maybe Ken did not say that, but many perceive Ken as thinking that, by his comment. I say leave the Tea Party out of it. The water right issue is very complex, and Whatcom County farmers and rural landowners (regardless of political ideology) have done much to enhance fish habitat, are working on acceptable in-stream flows, abandoning legal irrigation withdrawals from streams and trying to move to wells that have little impact on in-stream flows. In the Bertrand watershed, many farmers and other rural landowners have invested countless hours and thousands of dollars to secure our right to irrigate, by improving wildlife habitat, and maintaining and establishing adequate in-stream flows, cooperating with the tribes, working with B.C. and the Department of Ecology (60 percent of the watershed is in B.C. with few withdrawal limitations), and forming the Bertrand Watershed Improvement District. Agriculture and resource industries are the lifeblood for many, regardless of political persuasion, we need to find solutions to preserve our way of life, because agriculture is sustainable and worth saving.

Steve Groen


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