Prevent or manage?
Where is the next destructive fire? As we all enter the next fire season, we must ask ourselves where the next firestorm will occur. As we continue to study, then study some more, then study to the end, what will be decided?
Let’s say that in all probability the Twisp River drainage is a fire looking for a place to happen. As we watch year after year, the quantity of standing dead material increases significantly. Should we perhaps allow the woodcutters to do something as simple as remove that material? Or, should we study the situation again? Can we selectively log the river basin?
Back in the day, you could ride a horse anywhere you chose on the Twisp River. Today, that is completely impossible on the majority of the river. The popular saying is “do we prevent fires” as Smokey Bear always said or, as we do now, do we “manage” the fires?
Rich Millard, Twisp
Water rights crucial
As Twisp is “poised for spurt in residential growth,” I was glad to see the discussion of water rights issues as part of the equation. A lot of people seem to forget that we live in a near desert. There is a difference between legal water rights and actually having enough water to satisfy those rights. We all know people whose wells go dry in some years. With climate changes leading to forecasts of reduced snow pack and ever increasing demands for water, it can only get worse.
You also mention OWL (Okanogan Wilderness League) and its important role in the water debates. In addition to its state Supreme Court case it won against the town of Twisp, OWL had a parallel, water rights case in progress against the Early Winters/Arrowleaf developers. It has also played an important role in challenging other major claims to water rights.
The precedent of OWL’s Twisp case was instrumental in the “end game” negotiations with those developers, a fight started by the Methow Valley Citizens Council, and later joined by Friends of the Methow. The developers settled OWL’s lawsuit in early 2000, giving up some important water rights at Arrowleaf. Soon afterwards, they agreed to a conservation buyout by the Trust for Public Lands. This ended the potential development of a mega-resort in Mazama.
Randy Brook, Twisp
Thanks, Carlton P.O. patrons
I want to thank the patrons of the Carlton Post Office for the privilege and pleasure of being their postmistress for the last 20 years or so. I have only known graciousness and wonderful friendliness in all of these years. I appreciate all of your help (volunteer labor) of mowing and landscaping, fixing a mower, trimming trees and taking away branches, shoveling and de-icing the front walk, blading the parking lot of slush, etc., and the lovely gifts during the holidays of homemade salsa, bread, cookies, jams, chocolates and ground coffee, teas and spice. I loved each and every one! My best to all of you in the coming years, with respect and friendship.
Pat Ebbert, Twisp
Justify the spending
I see the tone from the Okanogan County Fire District 6 commissioners has changed to conciliatory from aggressive in hopes of enlarging the fire bureaucracy. They are no longer calling the taxpayers dumb and would prefer they be quiet and not look too close at past dealings.
All this crap aside, they fail to see other problems this area faces. One statistic that pops out is that 42 percent of the structures that were lost in last summer’s firestorm had no fire insurance. There could be varied reasons for this, one being that high taxes from multiple districts don’t leave anything for discretionary spending, which hopefully could include fire insurance. Some districts can increase their income by 1 percent per year by board action. Rarely can you find where they don’t justify an increase. This is not a metropolitan area and we don’t have a tax base to afford such services.
You are being asked to mortgage your property to provide these services. Taxpayers must inform themselves if these requests for their hard-earned dollars are justified.
Max Judd, Carlton