Public hearing on Weyerhaeuser permits draw a crowd
Weyerhaeuser permit sales for local land access continue, and the Grays Harbor County Commissioners had a public hearing yesterday on an ordinance that would change that.
The ordinance would terminate the Current Use Timber Land program and describe the land as Designated Forest Land. It would also add minimum requirements to Timber Management Plans.
The ordinance proposed by Commissioner Wes Cormier is intended to merge the county’s Current Use Timber Land classification into its Designated Forest Land and prohibit commercial recreation fees for access to land classified in the Designated Forest Land program.
The Commissioners Meeting Room was full and overflowing into the hallway outside and there was comment both for and against the ordinance including former commissioner Terry Willis who spoke on behalf of the Grays Harbor and Pacific County Farm Bureau of which she is now the President.
Willis said that the ordinance likely not hold up in court, but it would also put extra burden on small farmland owners.
President of Eyes in the Woods Kyle Winton spoke in support of the ordinance, saying that private land owners should know who is going on their property and those people should be aware of the rules. Winton said that despite that, they oppose the $75 dollar fee and would prefer a $25-30 fee similar to the Discover Pass.
Following public comment, Commissioner Cormier made a motion to pass the ordinance but the decision was postponed two weeks for the commissioners to further look into the ordinance.
As of this morning, only 5% of the Weyerhaeuser permits Aberdeen Operating Area have been sold, totaling over $57,000 in sales.