Watching the Winds of Change in Eastern Washington Last week's elections certainly brought change to the nation, and surprisingly to a few corners of the country that were probably not expecting it. One such place was Ferry County, home of the Kettle River Range, in Eastern Washington. Anti-wilderness incumbent Mike Blankenship lost his county commissioner seat to Bob Heath 1,672 to 1,441. This is of course bad news for Mike, but great news for those of us who are intent on seeing a Kettle River Range Wilderness.
But the news for wilderness proponents in the Columbia Highlands of Northeastern Washington is even better than that. According to Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest, the organization spearheading protection measures in this special corner of the Evergreen State:
"In each of the four counties of rural northeastern Washington–Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille – voters rejected an anti-wilderness candidate for county commission. Citizens chose collaboration over conflict, thoughtfulness over anger, solutions over reactions, tomorrow over yesterday. The Columbia Highlands will soon receive the wilderness protection and forest restoration it has long deserved."
I couldn't agree more, Mitch! The winds of change are a-blowin in the Columbia Highlands and I for one welcome this warming breeze!
(photo- Alan Bauer watches the winds of change-climatic in this case-blow in over the Kettle Crest)