BLANCHARD MOUNTAIN - ACTION NEEDED
January 2017 update: See the press release from Skagit County on reaction to Governor's low suggested budget amount for Blanchard and the need to work with local legislators in the upcoming 2017 session to get a higher number for Blanchard in the Capital Budget. Governor's Funding Puts Blanchard Forest at Risk
Dec 20th 2016 update: The Governor’s Budget was recently released. The Governor’s budget proposes $1.5M against the remaining balance in this biennium. Thus there would remain $6,200,000 to fund to fully protect the 1,600-acre core.
In September 2016 our Blanchard Strategies Stakeholder group hosted lunch and a series of talks for decision-makers on Blanchard Mountain. Senator Ranker expressed his commitment to seeking funding for the remaining $7.7 Million required in the coming legislative session to prevent logging within the 1,600 forested acres core of the mountain. Later we did tours for Hilary Franz, Lands Commissioner Candidate, and another for staff from Governor Inslee's office.
Speak Up, Speak Out Radio did an interview with Commissioner Janicki and members of the Blanchard Strategies Group (Molly Doran and Mitch Friedman) in mid-January 2017. This interview has excellent background information
Now we need to ask for full funding in the Legislative 2017 Capital Budget
WE STILL HAVE LOTS OF STATE LEGISLATORS TO CONVINCE AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT. A LOGGING SALE IN THE CORE FOREST IS PLANNED IF FUNDING IS NOT SECURED IN THIS (2017) LEGISLATIVE SESSION. Like you, Skagit County and the DNR would much rather see the Blanchard Strategies Agreement funded!
Here is how you can help
Need help finding your legislators? Use this link to find them leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
TIPS ON MESSAGING
* Be brief - a personal paragraph or two from a citizen makes good impact
* Say why you personally want to see the 1600-acre forests on Blanchard Mountain protected forever.
* If you work in a job that benefits from Blanchard - whether in timber, tourism, or recreation - tell them your story. This solution maintains jobs in all these areas and helps a local economy.
* Ask for funding of the full remaining $7.7 million needed.
* Remind them that time is running out. A logging sale in the core forest is planned later in 2017 if funding isn't secured this legislative session.
* Remind them that it has been 10 years since the Blanchard Strategies Agreement was arrived at - and the legislature heralded it as a model solution to a complex problem. They need to finish funding it.
* Politeness and courtesy usually helps people read to the end of your message/point
Short on time but want to help out? The Conservation Northwest website has easy-to-use has an automated letters to legislators. Just click here and send it along Blanchard Automatic Note
Skagit County Commissioners
1800 Continental Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002