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Past SouthworthForest.org Campaign Updates



Latest Update (September 25, 2022): With guidance from Kitsap County, the Southworth community is organizing a formal response to the clear-cutters' refusal to acknowledge their impacts on the area. We are collecting photos, videos, articles, and past permit decisions to support this response. It will then be shared with permit reviewers and, more importantly, the County's hearing examiner, who is the ultimate arbiter for changes demanded of the clear-cutters' plans.

If you live in the Southworth community, particularly the area uphill from the ferry terminal on Southworth Drive, please send photos or videos of any bald eagles you see flying above or nesting in trees to trees@southworthforest.org. The County has become aware that bald eagles used the clear-cutters' destroyed trees as a perch for hunting, and they want to know if the raptors are still using the area, which they are.

No matter where you live, we are collecting articles about deforestation effects on local climates in the Seattle area and past instances in which Kitsap County hearing examiners have required buffers of trees to remain around the exterior edges of new developments or forest conversions for any purpose. Also please send these to trees@southworthforest.org. Since the County has required such buffers in the past, the same should be true here.

The clear-cutters have expressed concern that feedback from the community might make County permitters "biased" against them. In defiance, they responded, "We will use our discretion moving forward with development of that area to maximize our property rights." County leadership is aware that the clear-cutters care little for their impacts on the community and that permitters are paying attention to how County code supports the protection of Southworth.

We must do our part to support the County in pushing back against the clear-cutters. On top of contacting trees@southworthforest.org, you can also tell the County directly about the local impacts of deforestation. These comments will be shared with the hearing examiner. Meanwhile, restoration continues in the neighboring forest, though some trees adjacent to the clear-cut have died, and these losses are being documented for the County, too. More updates are at the GoFundMe page.



July 28, 2022 Update: Despite concerns from the Southworth community and Kitsap County permit reviewers, the clear-cutters have re-submitted their after-the-fact forest conversion permit without any meaningful changes. They do not plan to replant buffers of trees to protect most neighbors, and they still intend to remove more trees from within a disputed easement on one neighboring property.

Kitsap County has questioned the environmental impacts and legality of the plans. The clear-cutters responded, "We will use our discretion moving forward with development of that area to maximize our property rights." Sadly, a minor child of the clear-cutters has been recorded mocking a sign about climate change on a neighboring property as well. Are these the values we want to teach our children about the climate in Southworth?

Legal efforts to stop the clear-cutters are awaiting appeal in WA Division II appellate court once frivolous counterclaims by the clear-cutters against protesting neighbors are ruled upon in Kitsap superior court. Kitsap County can force the clear-cutters to revise their plans without a ruling from the courts, though, and they are hearing your voices. That's where you can help!

You can tell the County that deforestation (illegal or otherwise) causes climate change and that we must protect neighboring Southworth forest lands by requiring the clear-cutters to replant a buffer of trees around the edge of their improperly deforested parcel. Restoration continues in the neighboring forest, though some trees adjacent to the clear-cut have died. More updates are at the GoFundMe page.



July 15, 2022 Update: The clear-cutters will soon submit revisions to Kitsap County for their after-the-fact permit, and it appears they still intend to remove more trees from within a disputed easement on a neighboring property. After the County expressed concerns, the clear-cutters responded, "We will use our discretion moving forward with development of that area to maximize our property rights." Legal efforts to stop the clear-cutters from removing these trees are awaiting appeal in WA Division II appellate court once frivolous counterclaims by the clear-cutters against protesting neighbors are ruled upon in Kitsap superior court.

A minor child of the clear-cutters has been recorded mocking a sign about climate change on a neighboring property. These are not the values we want to teach our children about the climate in Southworth. It's not too late to tell the County that deforestation (illegal or otherwise) causes climate change. We must protect neighboring Southworth forest lands by demanding that the County require the clear-cutters to re-plant a buffer of trees around the edge of their improperly deforested parcel. Restoration continues in the neighboring forest, though some trees adjacent to the clear-cut have died. More updates are at the GoFundMe page.



June 12, 2022 Update: We are still pressuring Kitsap County to require the Southworth clear-cutters to re-plant a buffer of trees around the edge of their improperly deforested parcel. The after-the-fact permit is currently returned to the clear-cutters for revisions. It's not too late to tell the County that deforestation (illegal or otherwise) causes climate change, and we must protect neighboring Southworth forest lands! Efforts to stop the clear-cutters from removing trees in a disputed easement on a neighboring parcel are still pending in WA Division II appellate court. Frivolous counterclaims by the clear-cutters against protesting neighbors are waiting in Kitsap superior court during the appeal. Restoration continues in the neighboring forest, with over 75 trees planted this season so far. More updates are at the GoFundMe page.



May 3, 2022 Update: Kitsap County has returned the clear-cutters' forest conversion permit to them for revisions. Unfortunately, the County is not showing any intent to require the clear-cutters to replant buffers of trees around the borders of their already destroyed forest. Buffers of trees are important. We must lobby the County to require these buffers to help protect against the effects of climate change on remaining Southworth forest lands. The legal case attempting to stop the clear-cutters will return to the WA Division II appellate court after frivolous counterclaims by the clear-cutters against protesting neighbors are defeated. Restoration continues in the neighboring forest, with over 70 trees planted this season so far. More updates are at the GoFundMe page.



March 13, 2022 Update: Kitsap County is still considering the clear-cutters' permit that seeks to clear more forested land. It is not too late to make your voice heard! The legal case trying to stop the clear-cutters is headed to an appellate court (Division II, Case #566818). Restoration continues in the neighboring forest, with over 60 trees planted this season so far. More updates are at the GoFundMe page.



SouthworthForest.org - Site contact: trees@southworthforest.org - P.O. Box 4659, South Colby, WA 98384