The article bemoans the divisiveness between Eastern and Western Washington and yet plays down the very means of bringing the parties — Native nations, farmers, orca and salmon advocates, energy experts — together for a serious conversation.
In fact, the stakeholder process proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee would bring key leaders from both sides of the state together with high-level mediators to share common interests and find durable solutions. Environmental mediation has a successful track record in Washington. Only by talking to each other face to face can we find a way forward.
As a woman of faith, I believe that our creator has given us stewardship of the land and waters of our home. As an experienced mediator, I know that good outcomes can be found for salmon, orcas, farmers and tribes if we are given the opportunity to talk together with the help of skilled facilitators. That is exactly the purpose of the governor’s stakeholder mediation process. We can achieve an agreed-upon outcome, but it’s going to take leadership, time and money.
May our legislators support the governors’ budget request for a stakeholder process for the Lower Snake River, on behalf of both sides of the Cascades.
Jessie Dye, Seattle