It appears that California isn’t the only state where farm land is taking a beating in the push to restore wildlife habitat. Right here in Snohomish County, bureaucrats and environmentalists are teaming up to return prime agricultural land to marsh land. To add to the insanity, at the same time the County is shelling out taxpayer dollars to remove land from cultivation, it’s also expending taxpayer dollars to prevent the loss of – get this – farm land. Huh?
If you find that confusing, congratulations on having the common sense you were born with. Snohomish County Council candidate Steve Dana explains the financial side of the situation in more detail on his blog, No Loss for Words. (Amazing choice of a name for a blog, don’t you think?)
Leaving aside the sheer madness of using taxpayer funds to finance opposing goals, here’s my question: who’s in line to be hurt the most by the (hopefully) unintended consequences of the County’s actions as the utilities’ costs are passed onto consumers and the supply of fresh, local produce is reduced? Poor families? Seniors?
Everyone is interested in protecting the environment but as I wrote here, environmental benefits have to be weighed against costs. In the case of dishwasher detergent, the human costs are negligible; mere inconvenience. In the case of farm land, the human costs are potentially enormous, yet there seems to be a disturbing trend to disregard them in the face of environmental concerns.
Here in Snohomish County, we can do our part to reverse that trend by carefully considering the candidates for County Council. The Council is currently controlled by Democrats; we have money being spent on both sides of this issue and who knows how many others? We have unintended consequences to the tune of $27 million in costs to public utilities and it may be impossible to calculate the enormity of the loss of our farm lands. Choose wisely.