Monday, October 5, 2009

Legal Stuff: Wood chip case

I've written in previous blog entries about the Washington State Department of Ecology's citing me for using wood chips for mulch on my farm. As with any legal situation, talking about it and possibly settling it prior to the court date is usually best. Going to court is risky for both sides, and consumes time, money and resources for both sides.

Kelly Wood, Asst. Attorney General for the state of Washington is representing ecology in this matter, and he's representing Paul Anderson, who's the Department of Ecology's enforcement officer for my region, and the fellow who cited me for this violation.

What follows is an open letter addressed to Mr. Wood:

Mr Wood:

Over the past 6 months I have tried without success to get you to allow me to do various activities on my farm. This included planting a corn crop, mowing, replacing or completing fences and tilling the ground to remove metal debris and trash incidental to both the prior use of a portion of my property as a junkyard, and because of its proximity to the highway and the trash that the highway generates. Many of these activities are covered under various laws, the right to plow law being one.

The area of my farm that your client, Mr. Anderson believes is in violation is 1/4 of an acre. Your refusal to allow me to do any work on the other 11.75 acres of my 12 acre parcel is seriously impeding my farming effort for this entire year.

I would like you to respond in writing to my request that you limit the "stop work" order that was issued by the DOE to the area that is actually involved in the wood chip dispute and that you do this in a timely fashion to prevent further disruption to my farming activities. You could do this in less than 10 minutes by drawing a rectangle on an aerial photo. If need be I will meet your client at the property and we can set boundaries that way, staking the areas in question and releasing the rest of the property.

I am open to other ideas, but since our negotiations have resulted in zero progress, I'm not optimistic that further negotiation will have any results.

Bruce King


Dean Smith said...

I attended a lecture at the Snohomish PUD Saturday, October 3, 2009 bu Paul Stamets in which he cited several examples of the use of wood chips innoculated with mushroom spore as remedial treatments for several types of contamination including animal and petroleum waste. I suggest you consult his book, Mycelium Running (Ten Speed Press) for specific cases within Washington State.

Walter Jeffries said...

Blah. Government and busy bodies.

Wood shavings, wood chips, brush, saw dust are all excellent for composting and mulch. See:

for a Cornell university study reference.