Don’t allow spraying
I have noticed a lot of new people in the valley.
Heads up: It is time to get your no-spray agreements with the county. If you don’t, you will have dangerous chemicals sprayed all willy-nilly along your property. The county officials say herbicides aren’t harmful to your health. Don’t believe them.
Edward D. Tennant
Feeding program needed
Re: the article in the Feb. 1 issue about not feeding deer. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said they don’t have the infrastructure to carry out a feeding program. Why not? You want the farmers and ranchers to bear the cost? Many deer feed on alfalfa in the fields, apple orchards in the summer, etc.
Fact No. 1: Wildfires have destroyed most of the bitterbrush. Whereas at one point bitterbrush stood up to 8 inches in height, now there is nothing left. Mr. Fitkin, where are the deer supposed to feed? There is no feed and nowhere to go!
Fact. No. 2: Today there are still signs of drift deer fences from Carlton south. These fences kept deer out of orchards, hay fields and highways. However, the state would not fence the orchards and alfalfa fields because there was no money for the project. This resulted in apple bins once picked and filled needing to be covered immediately so the deer would not get in the bins and eat the contents.
Fact. No. 3: The WDFW could work with farmers, sportsmen, etc., who would give some time to correct the problem. For example, rather than losing many deer to tribal hunters from the west side every year after the formal hunting season ended, when I was an Okanogan County commissioner, we organized a system where a group of concerned citizens collected road-killed deer and skinned, cut, wrapped and froze the meat so the tribes could pick it up. A wonderful result of working together.
When I owned property at French Creek and Booth Canyon, we took pellets and hay up on snowmobiles; it was no cost to WDFW. Yes, feeding stations should be kept small and away from highways.
With the wolves and dogs running wild and no management in sight, as well as no feed, the deer population will continue to decrease.
Dave Schulz Sr.
Thanks for support
We live in such an amazing and generous community! A few weeks ago, I wrote a request for help to find housing for an Americorps team. Within a few days I was contacted by half a dozen individuals with offers of support. With a solid temporary housing option secured, we were able to confidently submit our application to host a team of Americorps volunteers. Thank you to everyone who stepped forward to help us make this amazing opportunity a possibility. If we are awarded a team, the community’s next opportunity to support this terrific program will be to welcome 8-12 young volunteers with open arms in April.
Director of Campus Operations
Dear in a recent news article Scott Fitkin stated he has spent a career building a healthy deer population. The deer population is in the worst shape it’s ever been. The yearly helicopter surveys prove that. When they state that the buck-to-doe ratio is at objective levels that’s misleading. When the total population is only say 300 at most and 30 of those are bucks, the ratio might be good but the overall population is poor. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) continues to change its population objective based on the survey population to make itself look good. We have more predator issues than ever before and the current WDFW commissioners and biologists don’t want to admit it.
Your help requested
“A unique opportunity.” We often read or hear this expression here in the Methow Valley. My question: Have those words lost their impact? I hope not. I have been afforded the opportunity to co-chair the Methow Conservancy’s Campaign for Sunny M. Ranch. This is a game changer for our valley and it is indeed a unique opportunity.
Many citizens of the valley have assumed that those fields, woodlands and recreational trails had already been placed in a conservation easement. This is understandable as the ranch buildings and surrounding lands have changed little over the past 60 years. The Haub family have been stewards of the land for 35 years.
We as a community now have a choice. We can help save this land for future generations, or have it sold to an entity that could develop these 1,200 acres without any regard for community input or needs. Imagine this land broken into small acre parcels.
Your question: How can I make a difference? Don’t assume that this land can be saved without your help. It takes a “valley” to raise the funds to purchase this land. Each and every one of us can give at our comfort level, be it large or small. Remember that “love of place” includes not only emotions but our duty to that place.
At times in our lives we are given the rare opportunity to participate in a project that is a forever gift to future generations. I write this letter in loving memory of my friend and husband Carl Miller. As he would say “Let’s get it done” folks!”
For more information and to donate, visit: methowconservancy.org/sunnym.
Obligation to care
Re: the recent article on prolonged hospital stays, triage, and staff shortages. My comments follow regarding Scott Graham’s assessment as to a root cause of these staffing shortages. Mr. Graham, Three Rivers CEO, is quoted as follows:
“Increasingly, burnout isn’t caused by the nature of the work, but by the treatment of these professionals by the public,” Graham said.
“It’s hard to come to work if people come in angry about hospital rules or masking, or if they yell at and ridicule nurses,” Graham said. Basic civility and appreciation from the general public would go a long way toward addressing the problem, he said.
Sorry Scott, but “that dog don’t hunt.” Denigrating the public isn’t good strategy, particularly when it is simplistic and shallow. Remember, “the public” supports their hospitals and your tenure as CEO not only financially, but in many other ways. They will remember your words the next time you come to them with an open hand.
People aren’t angry at rules and nurses — they are scared and anxious in a moment when they or their families lives have been unexpectedly turned inside out, and the very institutions they turn to for help fall short in bringing encouragement and comfort. As health care professionals our highest obligation is to care. It would be the rare exception that a nurse would not give grace, and work to build relationship in situations when patients or families are volatile. Dealing with hostility and suspicion comes with the job. I spent 38 years in health care as a physician. Sure, I got some hits I didn’t earn, but I got way more love than I ever deserved.
Scott, talk to those on the frontline. They are not suffering burnout, they are suffering moral, and morale injury inflicted by a health care system that is dismissive of them, and devalues their worth both professionally and personally. Boxed pizza delivered to “the team” in the name of an administrator they’ve never met can’t fix it. No, I am not suggesting you are to blame, but you are part of the solution.
Donald E. Stevens, MD
Let’s get creative
After the impassioned public hearing about the Orchard Hills planned development in Twisp, I came home to read about my sister’s town in Alaska (Methow Valley News, Feb. 8). The issues were identical — the people who make the mountain town of Girdwood, Alaska work cannot afford to live there. New housing is planned but it is not within reach for those who are making their livelihood and raising their children there. Lydon’s essay could have been scripted from the Twisp Planning Commission Hearing Feb. 8. In short, we have buildable land and we have developers with vision. But what’s missing are the tools that will make these new developments a solution for people that make this valley work. Lydon names an important one: deed restrictions that keep properties dedicated to those making local wages.
If we want mountain towns that thrive because there are health services, libraries, schools, early childhood education options, elder care, first responders, fire departments, car repair, hair stylists, grocery stores, restaurants, then we need to have housing solutions that address the needs of those who make those essential services work.
One solution that would open up many more existing rooms, structures and homes for long-term rentals is the existence of a local property manager. We must think more creatively about how we use our existing homes as any planned development will take years and tremendous investments to become a reality. We need long-term rentals now, otherwise we risk losing the valley that we all love so much. A property manager could help assure homeowners that renters would be vetted and well matched for the unique requirements of the property, they can oversee tailored lease agreements, enforce accountability to those agreements, and coordinate repairs when needed.
We need this kind of creative homegrown property management to free up long-term rental options now. And in the meantime, all of those functions (except repairs) are offered by Silvernest, a new program offered by Methow At Home. Please consider whether this could work for you. Because the valley — housing, water, services — needs to work for all of us.