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"Chasing Riseforms"
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'll try to make this brief. I own 5 acres of upland property with a community owned beach of about 1350' on Dabob Bay. I don't have my deed handy to read the tidelands description and my property is for sale so I haven't kept up on this situation. Two years back, Department of Natural Resouces leased the lower section of the tidelands from some low tide Mark (but not that low) to a shellfish company. Prior to that, it naturally was public DNR tidelands lying adjacent but lower than our community owned tidelands. I've owned this property for about 30 years. Everyone used to wander about and get shellfish from the entire area. I was out there yesterday and no one was on the beach except the shellfish company owner picking oysters and I. I wasn't fishing. I wandered over and said hello. He said nothing. I then went farther out onto the tidelands past a staked out survey line of his shellfish lease. He immediately spoke up and told me to stay off his leased portion because I was stepping on new oyster seed. I proceeded to get in a somewhat heated discussion which I won't get in to. I headed home shortly thereafter in a pissy mood. Then I started wondering whether he truly had the right to stop me from WALKING or fishing on the leased portion of the beach. Anyone have a clue? Is DNR leasing beaches and killing PUBLIC access to shellfish beaches? After all, this is/was a public resource. When I get time, I'm heading to Olympia to get a copy of the shellfish lease. On top of that his lease is 10 years with a couple options for renewals. I think DNR screwed us community property owners by leasing tidelands adjacent to ours in the first place. The general public had access to this before also, and now they don't and you don't!
 

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Find a good property attorney. One that specializes in that area of law. They will probably tell you the jist if it for free.

You need to know where the exact property lines are.

If they are breaking the law he might only charge you if he has to pursue it.

The powers that be are really stretching their authorities lately and it Pisses me off. I would not doubt if what they did is illegal. Then I would poke them in the eye ..... hard.

There was a situation over here in mason county that got got the county sued. It was over properry law and there was 2 separate families that won. The state and the school board got cocky and got smacked. I loved it.
 

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Find a good property attorney. One that specializes in that area of law. They will probably tell you the jist if it for free.

You need to know where the exact property lines are.

If they are breaking the law he might only charge you if he has to pursue it.

The powers that be are really stretching their authorities lately and it Pisses me off. I would not doubt if what they did is illegal. Then I would poke them in the eye ..... hard.

There was a situation over here in mason county that got got the county sued. It was over properry law and there was 2 separate families that won. The state and the school board got cocky and got smacked. I loved it.
Yes! This. If you don't push back, they will keep hogging and pushing.

Fight the good fight !
 

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"Chasing Riseforms"
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well, this was a lease pushed through by the DNR. I never was notified about this lease. Seems DNR just pushes their own agenda as if they are gods. I am anxious to read the lease and ask them a number of questions. Number one, can I walk on the leased shellfish bed area? Being a fisherman, this is important to me, let alone just walk the beach. I personally think they guy can't stop me from walking over his stinking oyster beds, seed or no seed. All fisherman should be concerned if they like fishing saltwater beaches. Or you should be concerned if your favorite shellfish public beach becomes a lease and you can no longer get clams or oysters there!! Public access to public beaches are hard to come by!! We don't need the State leasing them out to private enterprise if they provided public recreation and access previously. I've never liked the way DNR operates....
 

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I think I would have told him to call someone who cares and continued fishing. If he called the sheriff then let the lawsuits begin. I'm sure there are more than a few young attorneys willing to take on the guberment. Perhaps even the ACLU.
 

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If you dont own the tidelands, not sure you have much to gain by taking it up with DNR. They manage public lands under their management for the benefit of all citizens, which may include shellfish leases, timber sales, wildlife benefit, or public use. Not all of those are always 100% compatable uses.

You have the upper beach for your exclusive use and enjoyment, so it isnt clear what you are no longer getting now that the lower tidelands are in commercial shellfish production. Once the oyster seed are established, concerns about your walking across those areas may go away. Freshly planted seed are vulnerable to trampling. He paid money for those, it is understandable why he would ask you not to walk on top of them.

Perhaps your homeowners association should approach DNR to lease the property and grow some shellfish of your own to offset the cost of the lease, which would address your access concern while generating some revenue.
 
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