Wow. This is a big thing, and so great that the Glenwood students were part of it. Building understanding. Hands on learning. Classic looks on the students' faces as they get up front and personal with lamprey - lamprey are suddenly real.
The adverse environmental impacts of Under Canvas are truly egregious. They are laid out well in information submitted during the environmental review process. Law is always a matter of interpretation, and the lawyers who wrote the appeal are experienced and competent, and they cited precedents for their positions. The judge in this case chose the interpretation offered by the County. The ruling, however, does not change the damage that will be done. This much, we all know.
So I was watching the tape from the 5/3 meeting of the Klickitat County commissioners, not expecting to hear anything about Under Canvas, but there it was. Prosecuting Attorney Quesnel, starting about 5:07 on the tape if you want to watch, discussing the Superior Court decision. I don't have a word for word transcription, but the gist was this. People have property rights. SEPA and CUP processes can't just override people's property rights because "you have 20 people screaming". He's an "advocate for local control" but if that phrase is really a cover for nimbyism and depriving people of property rights through "intimidation and delaying tactics" then that's no good. We have to choose between "the rule of law" or the "dictates of a mob".
It's pretty sad to think that the County's attorney sees the Under Canvas issues solely in these terms. This uncompromising attitude about private property rights is so incompatible with the way the world really is, where we are all connected - people, fish, water, trees, squirrels, spiders, roots, and branches. http://www.klickitatcounty.org/CivicMedia?CID=9
Klickitat County Superior Court judge Randall Krog threw out most of the Under Canvass appeal in a ruling yesterday, April 25. I will provide a link to the document soon.
Only positive point is that the requirements for monitoring and reporting water use were upheld. It is inconceivable that Under Canvas can operate on the 5,000 gallon per day limit on an exempt well. The project should have been disallowed on this point alone. However, under this ruling, Under Canvas has to immediately cease operations if they exceed the limit. According to numbers they will be providing. Right.
Particularly infuriating are statements in the ruling like this one on Western Gray Squirrel. "KLPF's claim that traffic could kill WGS are speculative and lack evidence. Evidence is that WGS are secretive, often in trees, avoid large openings and, therefore, would likely avoid roads." In fact, in other contexts, timber companies and such argue that most WGS mortality occurs from being run over.
On April 25th, 2022, the Klickitat County Superior Court issued their 20-page ruling and findings in regard to FWSR’s appeal of the County’s action on Under Canvas. The unfavorable ruling can be read here.