Legislative News

BCHW Legislative Link



Current legislative issues here

This link will take you to the Legislative link on the state BCHW website. 

Issues We Are Watching

Legislative Report (Jeff Chapman) August 8, 2022

Today (Monday), I talked with the Rails to Trails folks in Virginia (where it is raining) about the routing issues for the Great American Rail Trail (GART) in Western Washington.   The question is whether we should push forward state legislation identifying the ODT (Olympic Discovery Trail) from Discovery Bay to LaPush along with Hood Canal Bridge to Discovery Bay as part of the state’s “cross-state” trail statute.   Currently, the route in Western Washington isn’t designated, and there are both northern (ODT) and southern route (Willapa Hills) proposals.  We tabled the discussion on legislation until another meeting is held with Jon Snyder (Gov’s Office) and State Parks.   The BCHW booth at the Jefferson County Fair next weekend was going to spread a petition supporting the northern route (aka ODT), but that is likely postponed until after a meeting with Jon.

Two State Parks WWRP (Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program) grants are being rated this month by an RCO (Washington Recreation & Conservation Office) committee, one for the ODT across Anderson Lake State Park, and one for the Malden to Kenova section of the GART in Eastern Washington.   Both are expected to rate well.    BCHW has supported both.

The Lind fire in Eastern Washington burned all around our hitch posts (JWPWR (John Wayne Pioneer Riders/BCHW) at the trailhead in Lind but did not burn most of the hitch posts or kiosk.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, August 9) will be an organizational planning meeting for the state Outdoor Recreation Caucus meetings to be held in Port Townsend in September.   The co-chairs are two Senators and two Representatives.   My job is lining up a BBQ (LOL).   The September meetings will be about state recreational matters for the upcoming legislative session.  A field visit will be held to Anderson Lake and Discovery Bay.  Miller Peninsula may be discussed but no action will be taken.

Also tomorrow (Tuesday) is the meeting of the Olympic Peninsula Collaborative (OPC) – Community Group that was started by the Olympic National Forest.   The following day will be the Agency Group.   The OPC is planned to be multi-agency, multi-nonprofit and cover all recreation topics on the Olympic Peninsula.   So far, the meetings have been organizational including charter, bylaws, and funding.   It is hard to say what projects will be addressed but Dosewallips/Elkhorn, Miller Peninsula, and Pacific Northwest Trail have been brought up.   I am on the Community Group, as are Mitzi and Peter Erben.   I did talk with our County Parks Director today about the Agency Group.

Another more Public Lands topic is to figure out what this Great American Outdoors Act near 3 Million dollar grant is being spent on in the ONF.   Hard to say since the USFS GAOA (Great American Outdoors Act) website doesn’t give any real location details.   The map tag is at the Quinault Ranger Station so one would figure some of it is being spent on the ONF (Olympic National Forest).



06-FY21-6BB is a GAOA project occurring on R6, PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGION located in R6, PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGION. The project's current status is WORK IN PROG Deferred maintenance addressed is estimated to be $1,336,068 and total approved dollars is $2,600,000. The work for this project will be completed by CONTRACT, USFS, JOB CORPS, YOUTH CORPS.

PROJECT SUMMARY:  This project will address routine and deferred maintenance deficiencies within our most important developed recreation sites and settings. Project work includes, but is not limited to, sign/kiosk repair, accessibility improvements, painting, picnic table and fire ring installation, etc. Deferred maintenance activities will be prioritized within recreation areas and corridors that increase the impact of investments and model shared stewardship. 

SB 5882 - Clarifying the Existence of Riparian Stock Watering Rights

Sponsors: Muzzall, Mullet, Honeyford, Sefzik, Short, Van De Wege
Muzzall Bill SB 5882: https://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2021-22/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5882.pdf?q=20220124180333

3-23-22      Update by Jeff Chapman

SB 5882 died in Rules after a major push by the environmental community.   Though the bill was stopped, discussions continue on the issue among the agencies and legislators through the summer. 

2-6-2022    Update by Jeff Chapman

SB 5882 is still alive.   Testimony PRO was provided by the cattlemen and farmers organizations.   Testimony CON was provided by the Department of Ecology and the Sierra Club.   The bill was amended to include a notification to the DOE on new stock watering setups, mostly to appease some of their concerns.   I don’t know if the amendment is totally agreeable to the cattlemen and to DOE, but it was enough to keep the bill moving.   SB 5882 is now in Rules waiting to be pulled to the Senate Floor for a vote, which is likely to happen this week [week of Feb 6, 2022].  If passed, it goes to the House.   If Ecology still opposes it, the bill will have a hard time getting through the House.

1-27-2022  Hearing was held. 

1-25-2022  Chapters Received Notice from BCHW Legislative

Senator Muzzall, Senator Van DeWege and others have introduced a bill to push back on DOE's [Dept of Ecology] attempt to rewrite water law and take away stock watering rights without a permit. If you haven't been following this saga, please see the links to the articles below. It's important to remember -  The state’s definition of livestock includes horses, goats, sheep, swine, poultry, alpacas and other domesticated species.  From what we've seen from Ecology so far, there'll be no more getting a drink out of the creek without a water right permit, if you have any of the above-mentioned animals.

 Original Article from Cap Press: https://www.capitalpress.com/ag_sectors/livestock/washington-ecology-cows-need-water-right-to-sip-from-a-creek/article_80dc6082-5220-11ec-a472-c78b1da9d00a.html

Latest Article from the Cap Press: https://www.capitalpress.com/ag_sectors/livestock/bill-would-sink-department-of-ecology-stockwater-policy/article_ae3cc30a-77b9-11ec-aa51-9f22d07b4ad5.html

WA State Parks Miller Peninsula Development

Miller Peninsula has been our favorite riding place.  For years, development of this WA State Parks property has been the state's plan.  In 2021, the development process took shape in the form of three proposed "plans" which were presented with the intention of giving the public several possibilities to discuss.  There was a public comment period during which Peninsula Chapter sent a formal letter expressing our desires for the project including multi-use trails throughout and horse camping.  (We supported the "Immersed in Nature" alternative which included equestrian trails and camping). 

3-15-22   Our Response   

Peninsula Chapter emailed to the WA State Parks Commissioners and the Miller Development lead planner, Nikki Fields, our response to the latest planning developments.  Read the letter here.

1-27-22   Development Report

A WA State Parks Commission meeting was held at Fort Worden and a Miller Peninsula Update Report session was conducted.  The PowerPoint that follows was presented:  https://www.parks.wa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18259/Item-E-8---Miller-Pen-Update--January-2022  .  The full text of the report can be viewed here:  https://www.parks.wa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18193/Item-E8-Miller-Peninsula-Planning-Update-Report .  There were no comments taken at this meeting.  Post meeting public comment was invited.

Here is a link to the WA State Parks Miller development site:  https://www.parks.wa.gov/1187/Miller-Peninsula-Planning

For more information, leave us a message here https://www.pbchw.org/contact_us.php or email us at peninsulabchwchapter@gmail.com .  Your message will be forwarded to our Miller "watchdogs" for response. 

Animal Waste Rule CR-102 & "Keeping of Animals WAC 246-203-130"

Mitzi Schindele, our BCHW Legislative Chair, and Jeff Chapman, our Peninsula Chapter Legislative Chair, have made the following observations about the rule:

  • You can not have manure within 100’ of a well and other bodies of water without a containment system.
  • You must remove manure from your farm within one year and disperse it.
  • This draft rule does NOT include [impact] free range grazing, livestock trails, or trail riding.
  • “Stockpiling” (the temporary piling of domestic animal waste from livestock prior to use or disposal) does not include active composting or lagoon storage of domestic animal waste from livestock.
  • The rule applies to all animal owners, business and personal.   

6-8-22  The outcome of the hearing is that the State Board of Health unanimously passed the updated Rule with a few technical language changes.  Read the text of the rule with changes here. 

6-1-22  Agenda for 6-8 meeting published.  Agenda-2022-06-08-Draft.pdf  The State Board of Health hearing for KEEPING OF ANIMALS is Wednesday, June 8th @ 1:30pm. They are hearing testimony.  If you would like to testify, you need to register on the KEEPING OF ANIMALS link here keeping-animals  under "Verbal Comments".  This is the last chance to voice our thoughts on this matter as the Board will most likely be taking action this day.  

5-18-22  Public hearing scheduled for June 8.  Agenda for meeting will be released on May 25.  Main webpage is here https://sboh.wa.gov/rulemaking/agency-rules-and-activity/keeping-animals  .  Read below for history and other information and links. 

4-28-22  Read BCHW's most recent letter to the Board of Health here

4-26-22  URGENT REQUEST FOR COMMENT by Mitzi Schindele, BCHW Legislative Chair.  Deadline Friday, 4-29-22.   Send your comment to the Board of Health here:  WSBOHProposedAnimalWasteRule@sboh.wa.gov

3-28-22   Update from Mitzi Schindele, BCHW Legislative Chair

Mitzi is working on a strategy.  We will be updated.  Contact her at legislative@bchw.org

On March 23, 2022, the Washington State Board of Health (Board) has filed a CR-102, Proposed Rule, for WAC 246-203-130, Keeping of Animals.  The proposed rule includes a title change to Domestic Animal Waste. The proposed rule includes standards for the handling and disposal of animal excreta, or animal waste, for the purpose of preventing and controlling nuisance and health hazards.   Written comments can be submitted by May 2, 2022.  Verbal comments will be accepted on June 8, 2022, during the hearing.   See here for Mitzi's entire communication which you will also find in your personal email Inbox.  Her email correspondence includes live links to documents and a Zoom invitation to the hearing on June 8, 2022.   

3-11-2022   BCHW Official Comment Submitted

Mitzi Schindele, BCHW Legislative Chair, submitted BCHW's "official" comment today.  The State Board of Health members will get our comment letter and it will be on file prior to the formal public comment period that is to open soon.  Read the comment here. 

Here is the timeline:

March/April - The Proposed Rule (reviewed today) will be filed.

April - Formal public comment opens.

June 2022 - Public hearing (tentative)

3-9-2022    State Board of Health CR-102 Briefing

The final Board of Health briefing on this rulemaking prior to filing the CR102 and prior to inviting formal public comment on the proposed rule was held.  The briefing was an overview of the rulemaking, the design and content of the proposed rule, and final steps in the rulemaking process. Please note that supporting material for this briefing and the pending CR-102 filing is DRAFT and is currently undergoing final review and processing. Staff anticipate filing the CR-102, Proposed Rule, in March or April 2022. This briefing involved no formal action by the Board. The Board of Health will consider the proposed rule at a public hearing tentatively scheduled for June 2022.   

2-27-2022   Update from Jeff Chapman, Peninsula Chapter Legislative Chair

Due to questions about when the State Board of Health would address the Keeping of Animals Rule, the Board of Health (BOH) has now posted their March 9 meeting agenda, and yes it is on it again (2 pm).   As a reminder, they didn’t get to it at their January meeting due to extensive public concerns with Covid topics.   I will note that written public comments can be sent through Friday March 4th on the proposed Keeping of Animals Rule.

While they haven’t posted the materials yet for this topic for the March meeting, I would take an educated guess that it will likely be the same materials already posted for the January 12th meeting including the draft revised rule.

Meeting information here.   Current rules and activity.  PowerPoint prepared for original 1-12-22 meeting.  

2-6-2022    Update from Jeff Chapman, Peninsula Chapter Legislative Chair

The postponed briefing may be scheduled for the March Board of Health (BOH) meeting, but, no agenda has been posted.

For more information, see  https://sboh.wa.gov/Rulemaking/CurrentRulesandActivity/KeepingofAnimals   .   If you wish to direct a question to our own Legislative chairpersons, contact Mitzi Schindele at pacificogirl@gmail.com  or (360) 269-0870 or Jeff Chapman at bbbranch@olympus.net .   Stuart Glasoe,  State Board of Health contact, can be reached at stuart...@sboh.wa.gov   360-236-4111  WebsiteFacebookTwitter

1-12-2022   State Board of Health CR-102 briefing scheduled -  and POSTPONED. 

A briefing regarding the CR-102 filing was scheduled.  (A CR is a rule proposal.  We call CR-102 the 'Animal Waste Rule').  Due to greater priorities involving Covid vaccinations that had significant public attention, the briefing was postponed. 

Keeping of Animals Rulemaking Timeline




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