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Rule change would affect rite of passage

This coming weekend, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission is set to change the sportfishing rules. In short, the new rules will close all of the Columbia River, its tributaries and beaver ponds to fishing “unless otherwise open.” That’s a reversal of tradition.

Rock'n'roll may have a place here

With all the cowboy and country persona emphasized here, it sometimes feels like I’m the only one in the area who listens to hard-rock music. But there are several local hard-rock musicians making a name for themselves elsewhere

Dear Santa, will you please leave...

It’s usually easy for me to ask for a few well-deserved gifts. But given the destruction caused by this year’s Carlton Complex wildfire, there are so many things that area residents deserve — and need — that I can’t possibly ask for enough. But I’ll start with a few common-sense requests.

Reopen 36-mile stretch of river

Residents of our state did not cede the right to access and enjoyment of public waterways to utilities operating dams on the Columbia or other rivers. But Grant County Public Utility District officials would have you believe they are the sole arbiters of who gets to fish, boat and access a 36-mile stretch of the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam to Rock Island Dam. They are not.

Road block to established access

Forest Service Road No. 30 is an example of access issues facing those of us who enjoy recreating on publicly owned lands managed by a government agency. It makes you wonder how many public roads with prescriptive rights are now off limits, locked behind a government gate.

Sustainable means maintainable

Having a sustainable plan means striking a proper balance, rather than tipping the scales further toward environmentalism.

Focus funding on our agriculture

In the wake of the Carlton Complex wildfires, you’d think the only industry here in Okanogan County is tourism. It’s a narrative a self-serving group of state agencies want you and the world to believe.

Philae gave me reason to believe

I’m usually not much of a movie-goer. And I certainly don’t plan to sit around and watch TV when there is life to live and work to be done. But then there are times I can be such a geek. I can sit motionless in front of the big screen or the TV. And on occasion, I can even tune out my favorite hard-rock songs and tune into “Coast to Coast.” Last week was one of those weeks.

Large ‘habitat’ buy raises concern

I’ve often voiced my concern over state agencies continuing to buy land in the name of habitat protection. But rural residents should also be aware of the economic pitfalls that will follow large acquisitions by environmental groups.

Student election results intriguing

Last Friday, students statewide had an opportunity to participate in a mock election that included the same measures and congressional candidates as on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

Ratepayers deserve a break

In the short six year’s I’ve been living here in Okanogan County, I’ve seen power rates increase, and then increase again. Now, it looks as though the Okanogan County Utility District wants me to dip into my wallet further.

Agency spin not helping economy

Last week, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife hosted a local meeting on its “tourism” effort. Interestingly, the effort looked more like an effort to sell a political agenda than it did a concerted tourism plan.

State moving to close Columbia

During the last two months, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has been flying a fishing proposal for the Columbia River under the radar. That proposal would reverse the way fisheries are managed on the Columbia River, its tributaries and their beaver ponds.

GPS data may resolve wolf issues

Just when you thought the intense discussion over the re-introduction of wolves in Washington state was quieting down, livestock deaths in Stevens County has added fuel to the fire. And the Stevens County Commission has stepped to the forefront of the debate.

Attend Oct. 1 fish, wildlife session

It’s that time again when you have an opportunity to make sure the “top brass” at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife hear you. The annual Brewster Roundtable is coming up Oct. 1. It’ll run from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Columbia Cove recreation building, 508 W. Cliff Ave., Brewster.