Five Conservation District Supervisors provide board level oversight of the Whatcom County Conservation District [CD] and its approximately 12 employees. Typically, Whatcom County CD provides most of its services to local farmers. Two supervisors are appointed by the Washington State governor, and three are locally elected.
Any registered voter, urban or rural, may vote in this CD election.
Whatcom County is different. Most Washington State Conservation Districts have very low profile elections for Supervisor positions, with farmers casting 100 or less ballots per district to choose their supervisors.
Three years ago, this particular Whatcom County Supervisor position election had over 3000 votes cast, with the winner’s margin being approximately 60 votes. In that election, the Bellingham environmentalist community almost elected their candidate to the CD board, but were defeated last minute by a large number of rural and small town voters who voted in person at the CD office on election day. On election day, more than 600 people walked in to vote at the CD office, mostly for Larry Helm.
Bad Cows + Rain = Big Money. Why does Whatcom County have this unusually high turnout? Why is control of a farm service agency being sought by non farm environmental activists?
Environmentalist groups pay their leaders and staff out of federal, state and local grants that address environmental problems. More problems mean more grants, and that means more “envirocrat” jobs.
Cow (dairy and beef) farms in Whatcom County are targeted as the alleged primary culprit for varying levels of coliform pollution in tidal shellfish beds. Bellingham’s large group of enviro activists want to use the CD to promote their agenda, giving the “public” and the Lummi nation the “benefit” of attacking farmers with cows in Whatcom County.
To compound this, in the last months, the Whatcom Conservation District has been initiating plans to become the service agency managing storm-water runoff grants and programs for the City of Bellingham. De-prioritizing farm services for city services looks like a good business money move. However, farmers may become second class citizens in their own service agency.
Storm-water runoff management is a very lucrative grant stream. Your taxes administer and salary technicians with vast government oversight of rainwater running off your property. There is lots of rain in Whatcom County. Again, this money is coveted by envirocrats and increasing numbers of university grads seeking jobs in line with their environmental degrees.
Grant streams are also the lifeblood of the Conservation District. The under the radar issue in this election is direction and prioritization of grants. Should the CD get any and all grants possible, such as EPA and Puget Sound Partnership urban and farm storm-water control grants, or focus its grant writing towards less lucrative farm service issues such as ditch cleaning, and soil and manure management services.
Local farmers do not want EPA grant strings impacting their farm plans. Period. Grants come with strings. The EPA and other state and county agencies offer large funding incentives to farmers who will let them move closer and closer into overseeing farm management plans.
As well, farmers are facing increasing fees and mitigation costs by Whatcom County Conservation District and Whatcom County Planning Department. CD technicians have a lot of power to levy fines and rulings. These technicians are currently under significant criticism for allowing environmental activist pressure to skew their farm site assessments against small farmers and small farm profitability. Farmers need a supervisor who will quickly and strongly address rules over reach when it happens.
Wildfowl. It is a fact that various technicians in state and county storm-water runoff monitoring positions are refusing to calculate how much coliform pollution comes from wild fowl such as ducks, geese and swans. Large water fowls, such as geese, produce 5 pounds of poop per day. 500 swans could deposit 2500 pounds of excrement close to a drainage ditch in one day, and then the cows get blamed.
In spite of this, Fish and Wildlife officials routinely refuse state funding grants to help them test coliform food source DNA to identify what coliform came from cows or birds. Cow farmers rightly feel unfairly targeted as the main coliform pollution source when wildfowl poop on fields by ditches is totally ruled out by activists and technicians. It’s the “bad cow” grant stream, stupid.
No one escapes. This is not just an issue for dairy or beef farmers. It is an issue for any small acreage family who has animals. It is an issue for home owners in towns and cities. Not only has the EPA put rules in place to regulate the puddles of rain on your driveway, but when farm neighbors are subject to the whims of urban regulators, the resulting uncertainty also hurts town and city businesses that supply farms.
The incumbent for this position is Larry Helm, a small beef farmer in the Squalicum Creek watershed east of Squalicum Mountain. Larry has consistently resisted the urban grant stream influences, trying to focus CD services to farmers. He runs a clean farm with minimum stream buffers, and with stream coliform levels at one quarter of the current pollution threshold level. Even so, Larry is being misrepresented and smeared as a polluter by environmental activists supporting his opponent.
The issue is not whether Larry’s opponent sells locally grown vegetables at a roadside stand, but which former public official can be trusted to use grants to serve farmers first, not the salaries of non profits and public officials, and the multiplying rules police that stifle farm economies in Whatcom County.
Remember packing houses? How many new packing houses have come to Whatcom County in this last year after the envirocrats worked over packing house policy?
Whatcom County Farm Bureau, the GOP, and the Cattleman’s Association have endorsed Larry. His opponent is supported by the Democrat party circle. Democrat voters from Alabama Hill and the Columbia District have heavily responded to Larry’s opponent’s doorbell campaign to use mail in voting. Do you get the picture? Where might Futurewise and ReSources and Whatcom Land Trust be in this?
Floodplains by Design is being cued up. With characteristic doublespeak, an extensive program grant application by Whatcom Land Trust targeting prime farmland for wilding in the South Fork area has been filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology. Note the promises that prime farmland is only going to be moved away from the river, not taken away. Really!! Do the farmers of Whatcom County need a friend of farmers on the CD board of supervisors, or a friend of progressive, Democrat, urban environmentalists?
Note the letters of support in the appendix from Whatcom County Public Works (Paula Cooper), Whatcom County Parks (Mike McFarlane), and the Nooksack Tribe (Bob Kelly)
GreenLinks is here! The Squalicum Creek watershed, from downtown Bellingham out to the Rome area on SR542, is being set up for an intensively managed water runoff program called Green Links, jointly administered by the City of Bellingham and Futurewise, the recent litigant against Whatcom County’s exempt well policies. Would not the Conservation District better the public interest by electing a supervisor who would check and balance intensive environmental advocacy (salmon are the emotional hot button in the above joint venture) rather than smiling while urban eco activists collectively rezone the Squalicum Creek watershed.
Larry’s challenger in this election is an Everson area resident who worked for the City of Bellingham Public Works, and runs a summer time vegetable stand from her garden. As a past Democratic party candidate, she is most notable recently in her loss to Vincent Buys for District 42 State Representative. Larry’s opponent has benefited from considerable resources to door bell neighborhoods in Bellingham environmentalist hot zones, people who are NOT farmers, and adversarial to most current Whatcom farmers.
Monday, February 9, 2015 was the cutoff date to request a mail in ballot from the Conservation District office, which manages this election apart from the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office. As of that date, over 3600 ballots had been requested, most to Bellingham addresses. Ballots may also be cast by people who walk in and vote in the Conservation District office on March 10, 2015. Last year, 600 people voted in person at the CD office.
Walk in and vote. If you don’t want to see farmers, big or small, significantly damaged by Bellingham eco activists, please take the time to go to the CD office in person and vote for Larry Helm on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. His opponent may have a very pleasant demeanor, but her handlers and supporters are determined to turn local cows into “the” environmental scapegoat and grant stream. You can read their words here, and here, and here.
Please pass this walk in voting information on to people in your rural and small farm town circles. This election will determine who manages CD grant programs, urban shell fish guardians or farmers. Your tax money, your rural farm profitability, and your freedom to manage your own storm water runoff costs is at stake. This is a very pressing issue, even for those living in town lots.
Please walk in and vote for Larry Helm for CD commissioner at the Conservation District office at Hinotes Corner, (Pole and Hannegan), 6975 Hannegan Road, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, 2015.
Do you see the shell game? The straw man here is having to choose between shell fish (or salmon) and cows. That is just the current version of a much larger shell game, using the Marxist dialectic to establish fascist communitarian socialism for nihilist narcissists. Chew on that for a while.
In other words—
One party (globalist dialectical power brokers) gets two other parties (cow farmers and salmon/shellfish environmentalists) to fight, and then lives well off the two weakened parties.
Collecting juicy fees to manage perpetual reparations (socialism) perpetuates the outcomes of the fights.
Rules that tax “offender's” profits (fascism) return more than taking their assets (communism).
The expectation of no ultimate consequences for making such a mess (nihilism) trains people to only talk, think, act and care about their own desires and comforts (narcissism).
Thus, a key milestone in the enviro terrorism program is ruined “trust” between urbanites and farmers. The key movers are quiet, eco activist, grant funded, power base building community organizers who do public policy by Alinsky rules—deceive, flatter, fatten, divide—then defund and enslave the middle class (BOTH farmers AND urbanites) before they know what hit them.
A second problem is well meaning, sophomoric urbanites with ruinous ideas for how farm families should run their farms, significant ignorance of how Whatcom County farmers are improving in environmental stewardship, and the gross delusion that heavy regulations on farmers will improve urban outcomes, and never come to be applied to their own free wheeling urban lifestyles.
A third problem may also be farm families, in debt to their eyeballs, whose fewer and fewer children do not want to assume the pressure cooker of large scale farming in a free falling society, parents whose retirement income can only be secured by corporate culture, selling out or hiring in. What stops the free fall? Who will feed you or me, my corporate farmer or urban environmentalist friend, in ten, twenty, forty years?
Really now, How will you get vegetable garden dirt out from under your finger nails?