MEDIA ADVISORY: House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to hold work session in Okanogan

The Washington State House of Representatives will host an Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee work session Thursday, Sept. 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Okanogan County Courthouse in Okanogan.

The work session will include county officials from around the region and several legislators who serve on the committee, as well as lawmakers from the surrounding area. The meeting will be run by committee Chairman Brian Blake. The details of the meeting are as follows:

What: House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee work session
When: Thursday, Sept. 29
Where: Okanogan County Courthouse, 123 Fifth Avenue North, Room 150, Okanogan
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Who: Committee members; invited guest presenters, including regional county commissioners; and the public

Citizens are welcome to attend the work session, but no public testimony will be taken during the meeting. However, written testimony to the committee will be accepted before and after the meeting.

The day's work session coincides with a local agriculture tour that includes a tour of the mine at Buckhorn Mountain and a meeting of livestock stakeholders regarding the challenges they face.

“These are difficult economic times and our focus should be not only on creating new jobs, but also on protecting the ones we already have, especially in our core industries like tree fruit growing, mining and logging,” said Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, committee chairman and a former logger. “I'm looking forward to getting in-depth information on the current situation, as well as the present and future needs of these basic industries to ensure they continue being strong pillars in our economy.”

“This work session will be very informative for our local community members,” said Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, deputy Republican leader and member of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “Several county commissioners will make presentations on what we can do at the state level to assist our region in being economically independent through agriculture, natural resources, mining, timber health initiatives and other job development opportunities. I also hope the discussion turns to solutions, such as addressing how to streamline the permitting process, that will help foster local job growth. This work session may also be a chance to discuss critical public safety issues related to cougar and wolf populations.”

Kretz and Blake added that while public testimony will not be taken at the work session, they hope citizens will attend, listen to the presentations and bring their comments in writing to submit to the group.

CONTACT: Bobbi Cussins, Public Information Officer, (360) 786-7252
CONTACT: Lilia Nieto, Senior Communications Specialist, (360) 786-7375

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov