Feb 122011
 

If Lummi Island were uninhabited and preparing for human development today, and if we could design from scratch, how would we deal with transportation issues? Would we assume, for example, that gasoline would always be readily available and cheap? Would we want our transportation link to the mainland to connect us to a sovereign nation not our own? Or, would we rather travel to a natural trading center? Would we design our connection to the mainland based on our historical ability to go where we want when we want in a private passenger automobile? Or, would we try to build some sustainability into our system? Would we ask ourselves what system of transporting people and equipment to and from the island will be the most affordable and efficient over the long term?

On the island itself, there is not much we can do. No little town or commercial center ever developed here. There is a dearth of property available for any commercial activity. We suffer the additional handicap of not having a natural harbor that can serve the populated portions of the island. We do have lots of land that could be used to grow significant amounts of our own food. However, from a transportation standpoint, geography is not our friend, placing us behind Portage Island and a mere half mile away from the Lummi Nation, creating the illusion that Gooseberry Point is the best place to go. If there were a town at Gooseberry Point, or if Ferndale were a few miles closer, continuing ferry operations on the shortest distance between two points would make sense, assuming that we would have cheap fuel to run our beloved private conveyances forever. This isn’t likely. Ferndale isn’t going to get closer and a town with basic services will not develop at Gooseberry Point. Likewise, public transportation to Gooseberry is not likely to improve.

The Lummis are in a strong political position to tell the County to take a hike. We can shake our angry little fists at the Feds and demand that they help but it should be obvious by now that they won’t. It’s always been clear that the Lummis don’t want the dock any more, don’t want the traffic and may not need the money. They apparently don’t want to run a ferry service either (except, perhaps, for their own employees who live on the island). Becoming more obvious is the notion that the County doesn’t want to be in the ferry business.

As an island we’ve been waiting and lobbying for someone to solve our problem. The County has problems larger than the Lummi Island ferry. With a sinking tax base just about everything they do is going to be a problem. The Ferry Task Force will no doubt discover that there are all sorts of accounting problems with the way the money has been allocated. This will increase the tension between Lummi Island and the County. Ultimately, we might have to solve our own transportation problem.

We could start by proactively doing the staff work necessary to determine the feasibility of a passenger ferry from Lummi Island to Fairhaven. My gut feeling is that it is feasible and likely the most sustainable option for the long term.

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  17 Responses to “Take Me To Fairhaven”

  1. I doubt the task force will have time to delve into the passenger only ferry to Fairhaven option, other than to mention it in passing. Their mandate is pretty restrictive and the time frame limited to an August deadline.
    With that said, I personally favor a comprehensive review of the Fairhaven options for several reasons.
    Any deal with the Lummi Nation is likely to be very expensive over the 25 year lease period, even more so, if a clause is inserted mandating a move to the gas station site.
    A new lease is short term, considering Lummi Island, our children and those that follow us will be here for generations. ‘Give-Back’ contracts happen only when the business is near financial collapse. Ask the auto industry how that works. The next contract with the Lummi Nation won’t be any cheaper – trust me. We’ve now set in concrete the fact that Gooseberry is their’s to do as they please, and we will pay what ever they ask. That’s a dangerous path to start down, without checking your map and looking at a compass first.
    When I checked into Fairhaven a few months ago, it penciled out to be a reasonable option. I won’t bore you with the details, but here are the conclusions I came to after discussing this with the Port, our Ferry Crew, boat builders, and the new Kingston Fast Ferry operation.
    a. Fast Ferries, built in Fairhaven travel at 25 knots, carry 150 people, and could make the trip from Alaska Marine Terminal to Lummi Island in 22 minutes. Total trip time between Downtown Bellingham and Lummi Is. is a wash for Gooseberry or Fairhaven.
    b. Fast Ferries could operate ‘on-plane’ the vast majority of the time on that route. These vessels work in ocean waters with similar conditions as the dreaded Bellingham Bay Triangle. I don’t discount the water gets ugly at times, but check your NOAA and Cold Storage Wx tables for wind sp/dir, fetch, and wave height, and it’s not that lumpy that often to require off-plane, slower speeds.
    c. Fast Ferries have lower operating cost per hour that our own Whatcom Chief.
    d. Lummi Island contributes tens of thousands of dollars to the Port of Bellingham each year. We currently pay the equivalent of 7 full size moorings each year, with not much in return. It’s time they give us some consideration for those many years of contributions.
    e. The empty land at Fairhaven, next to the existing parking lot (which does fill up in the summer), is on the tax roles for 1/4mil, and a deal could probably be struck with the current owners to have a permit parking lot for islanders.
    f. There is current dock space at Fairhaven for a full time passenger boat (Dock 3), and the Chief for selected days and times for mostly commercial runs, and getting vehicles to and from the island as needed, although more expensive than today. Current records show that commercial traffic to and from Lummi Is. only accounts for 3% of all traffic. Two am and two pm runs would still have deck space available, according to county records. Part time Chief service to Fairhaven is not the optimal solution, but it’s not the deal breaker some claim it to be.
    Fairhaven is not as good an option as Gooseberry, under a reasonable lease negotiation (fair market value for the tidelands and parking lot), with long term renewals. If vastly higher costs of the ferry operation are imposed over the pre-surcharge days, then it’s time to at least consider other options.
    I hope we do, before the smoke rises above the casino lounge, indicating a decision has been made.

  2. People continue to be in denial over the fact that the Lummi Nation has won. There ultimately will no longer be a Lummi Island ferry dock on Gooseberry Point. We will continue to dock there on a month-to-month basis, as long as the County pays the $16,667 every 30 days, and the LNBC cashes the checks. This is the best the County can do for us. There will not be a Presidential Commission appointed to protect the Lummi Island community, no federal agency is going to step in and save the Islanders, and no Congressional Member is going to stand up to the Obama Doctrine of reversing over 200 years of injustice to the American Indians. Get over it, and make the transition. In the absence of a Wounded Knee, or an Egyptian Referendum, no one is going to pay attention to the plight of one half of one percent of the population of Whatcom County. We need to accept the next best choice, and move on, or move off.

  3. My approach is always to lay out all the options for consideration. A single list won’t do here. Before an option can be selected, needs need determined:
    Who and what.
    How often.
    How convenient.
    How expensive/investment.
    How permanent.
    What investment.

    Who and what: Residents, groceries and supplies, tourists, commercial supplies, building supplies.

    How often: Job commuters, weekend tourism (either direction), pantry trips, new home construction.

    How convenient (who, when): As if in town, like wilderness camping, special arrangement.

    How expensive/investment: Building a train tube or airport, innertubes and a long rope.

    How permanent: A bridge, private boat service.

    One thing can be said for the Chief, it fits every need (except quick late-night disco parties). It probably fits more than actual needs, and may be overkill. If there is an island shuttle, and parking in Fairhaven, do you really need cars hopping on and off at will? Does shopping need done everyday? How often does one build a home there?

    Here’s another list, How?
    Land: Bridges, from a pedestrian suspension bridge to a pontoon highway. Tunnel.
    Air: Paragliders, Air taxi service, Cargo planes.
    Sea: Kayaks, sail boats, ferries.
    Air/sea: Sea plane (popular on Catalina Island, could land in a water reservoir)

    It seems everyone is strapped for cash, it’s not an island of millionaires. So what is the minimum required?

    Housing and commercial (if that must continue): If not a truck ferry, then at least cargo boat/plane on part time (tri-weekly, scheduled) basis. A large dock and/or large ramp could support this, or even the existing ferry dock. From what I make of the ferry dock, ferries are the only heavy hauling vehicles it supports. Ramps can support things like amphibious sea planes, and launching of various boats. There are other vehicle types out there too, like amphibious busses.

    Commuters (if that’s to continue): Daily service. It doesn’t have to be by car.
    Tourism (if that’s to continue): Convenient schedule and island transportation (i.e. shuttle).

    Residential: Grocery trips every three weeks, or groceries delivered to the island. Occasional furniture delivery would be nice. For the most part, shuttle buses with room for grocery carts, and any sort of boat capable of small cargo boxes, preferably whole carts, would suffice, so long as there were cargo/shuttle busses on both ends.

    A bicycle/pushcart suspension bridge (preferably covered) would also do for most people still on their feet, and have the least operating expense after investment, so long as shuttles existed at both ends. Without shuttles, it’s just bikes or hiking expeditions.

    Kayaks are pretty much the bottom line. With large pantrys, bus service at both ends, careful timing, and lots of small trip effort, one could (I imagine) survive on the island making semi-weekly kayak trips, occasionally stranded for a month.

    ****

    Here is what I would suggest, all in combination.

    A) A covered pedestrian suspension bridge to Goose Point. This could be your main day-hike tourism portal.

    B) A marina complex consisting of:
    1) A ramp suitable for boat launches, sea-plane landings, and towing or loading of amphibious barges, with parking for all three.
    2) A large dock to the side of that (both sides dockable, but preferably ramp-side left clear for sea-plane medics). The bigger the better, to support both ferrys and Princess Cruisers. Even supporting just the SS Minnow is better than nothing though.
    3) A dozen sailboat / fishing-trawler slips open to:
    a) day guest use
    b) anyone who offers public for hire services to the mainland at least 3 days/wk.

    C) Two shuttle busses, both with bike racks, one for passengers running on island circuit schedule, and the second on spontaneous call with both seating and a cargo ramp area. Both would serve both the marina and foot bridge, and cover all populated regions and tourist spots.

    This plan gives you all the options and security, no matter what the future may bring. Anything less, and you put yourself at the mercy of providers who may not be adaptable.

    A shuttle might greatly expand business and tourism, especially if it came with a brochure of farmers market routes, home boutiques (the cottage industries you’d be wise to develop), hiking trail portals, a scenic tour, B&B staps, and open art sudios.
    ..And mostly it would eradicate the need for expensive hauling of cars all day.

    Also, we live in free enterprise america, a system which still generally works well. If you can’t find private boaters willing to compete to haul residents, cargo, and tourists, then you shouldn’t be on the island looking for governments to subsidize your living, beyond building a small loading marina.

    Low-cost and ecological will increasingly amount to the same thing. You need a system that can work now, yet evolve toward that shift, and still provide for expanding prosperity. The existing ferry is not that.

    One reason you don’t have much tourism is that you only appeal to the B&B high-art crowd. This is the only industry your current infrastructure even supports, thus children who stay on are doomed to the same dying industry. Hauling a car is too expensive to go hiking or kayaking, stop at a comic shop, have a crab sandwich, and bring home some apples. Only retirees want to live in a telecommuting bedroom community. You need to ask if Lummi Island is to have a thriving life of it’s own in the future, then make that possible for non-obsolete circumstances. Existing tourism will die without new blood.

    Woofers will require culture, and aren’t going to buy into hauling a car around to get it. Cheap, friendly, wholesome, and diverse is the current ticket to prosperity. The business life of LI needs to think ahead, and out of the old box as well. If you’re going to let the island die off, or become isolated homesteading, you won’t eventually need much ferry service anyhow.

    I can say this much about what is there now. Property. Property that is currently at risk of becoming of dubious value. If you don’t invest in a means for the island to thrive in the future, ‘everyone’ there will lose their equity, whethar they just wanted to retire or not. You need a diverse unified vision which supports everyone. Eco-sustainability is a minority, B&B is a minority, independent telecommuters, well-off retirees, shop-keepers, commuters, children – all minorities, all with a stake.

    Although theoretically it could, the entire island is not going to support itself with farming. That would require too much cultural transformation, which residents did not sign up for. That leaves the island dependant upon the mainland. People have to work or have worked on the mainland, or work on the island and have the mainland come to them. I consider the latter much more exciting and wholesome.

    I think you need a boutique mall, basically a general store and trading post, of local cottage industries and farmers market, suplemented with book, hat, and toy booths from thriving mainland retail stores. This serves several purposes: cottage industries, non-car local culture, additional tourism incentive. Your not having this has contributed to your being a B&B, retiree, vacation-home, bedroom-commuter community. All such communities are becoming out-moded. The island needs a pumping heart, not just eyes and a weakening hand-shake.

    Just for the sake of property equity alone, stake holders need to find themselves a valiant young emmissary who can rally the island youth, island and mainland entrepreneurs, eco-folk, investors, gov’t agencies, and anyone else willing to commit to a new thriving vision which suits everyone, and see that the core of a new infrastructure (marina, shuttle, and eco-boutique) is implemented before the island must die a slow death, and return to being nothing more than a kayaking destination.

    On the surface you talk of the ferry concern. It weighs upon you though because something much deeper is at heart, the livelihood of the island itself.

    Congratualtions to the eco-sustainability crowd for summoning new visions, but it is not enough. A common vision with parts for the whole future island is required.

    The emmissary/champion I speak of is not me, and probably none of you either. It would be a full-time demanding highly-skilled job. I think you will need to create a LI business/tourism/sustainability bureau, as a non-profit agency, get all your residents to voluntarily contribute funds (distribute a pamphlet of need and intent), and create an ad-hoc resident committee who’s very first task is to scour the internet, university leads, and local N.P. agencies for candidates to hire as a general manager. In other words you need to find and buy yourself a highly qualified mayor who can devote themselves to issues like public mediation and ferry/marina advocacy. Someone with sensible vision and a practical connection to all involved, accurately estimating cost and thrivability impacts of alternative solutions to the entire island.
    Someone who can network with all the youth and entrepreneurs to see that a working future gets built.

    Internet committees are a start, but let’s face it, not a single one of you, nor even all of you combined have the resources to get a new infrastructure launched by yourselves. ..and yet you must, or dwindle off into the horizon, most every one of you. A decade from now you won’t even have the energy to hire a champion and admire fresh vision.

    State coffers are in decline, and owe the island nothing. I’m guessing the residents have little to invest either (time, labor, or money). This leaves the island’s future prosperity to investors. But neither would you want investors in an obsolete business which has already brought this nation to ruin, nor some sort of modern 3rd world industrial-labor ranch. You need a champion who can rally investors in a new sustainable community vision.

    If you can keep what you have going now for another 30 years, your generation will get by (with declining property values), but that will be the end of it. I think you’ll rest easier though if you were able to pass on a thriving island life to future generations. On the other hand, who’s to say there’s anything wrong with the island becoming a kayak destination, with maybe two farms and a B&B.

  4. Interesting article on peak oil, based on some info released by wikileaks.

    http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-11-saudi-arabian-reserves-overstated-by-40-global-production

    Basically not really news (to some of us) but still sobering, with implications for ferry/car etc transport.

    Interesting comments, Gunar-a-Rose-by-any-other-name

  5. What are investors?

    In the last post I suggested that logic dictates that the island’s future relies on investors. This is nothing new. The residents are all investors, and between residents, tourism, and state welfare, a ferry to the island was once a good investment.

    As property investors, you felt homes there were a good life with durable value. Likewise new investors aren’t charity samaritans. They will want something now, which represents a good future to them in the future. As things are turning out now, even as some of you leave, buying a home in a dying island community is not alone a good investment.

    Nor do you hope to leave anyhow. That’s the whole reason investors even came up. So what do you have to offer investors? Valuable property, good schools, high volume retail opportunties? Not much, really. I’d say the best you have to offer is a good life, and as stands, that’s more of a potential than an actuality. If you want investors, you will have to create something that they will want to invest in.

    Creating something means a further investment on your part. I had a step-father who created entire cities. All he had to sell investors was a dream which could become tangible.

    The plan I have described is such a dream. A far more humble dream than creating cities, but still one which will push the capacities of it’s current stake-holders. Established conservatives aren’t going to buy this dream. It’s a bad gamble, and involves sweat equity. Your investors will have to be seeking lifestyle as their reward, have lots of energy, and be young enough to afford mistakes. I think what you need to attract is something inbetween woofers and college grad entrepreneurs looking to create or expand a first business. The farmers market crowd, boutiques, colleges, and transition whatcom are places to start looking.

    It’s a reciprocal arrangement. You line up boutique property, cheap rooms and garages for rent and cottage businesses, farms to work on, shuttles, and such, and they own a share of these new enterprises, with motive to make it thrive, and your community in turn maintains it’s worth by blossoming into something new which will continue to thrive.

    Very few people are going to get the random notion “Hey, I know, why I don’t I move to an island with no culture or infrastructure, and start a tailoring business there?” Nor are such people going to have in mind exactly what current islanders have in mind, especialy if an island business bureau is like an employer that doesn’t pay.

    No. What you would need to do is find promising young talent, ask them what they would do to prosper on such an island, and if there’s anything you could do to help them with that.

    In other words, plant a seed, with a bit of your own vision of possibility, into other communities which will network the idea until it grows to critical mass, such that enough people can make arrangements to stay there, and validate investments like a boutique mall and marina. It’s like putting together a team. You will need to find your boat, shuttle, cottage industry, co-op farmer, booth-retailers team members, in surplus, and have them all lined up to go as a package once all the pieces of the puzzle have been found.

    So in summary here.

    Have a broad vision of thriving.
    Get yourself a champion to manage it.
    Begin planting seeds of transformation opportunity, and recruiting a new community.
    Offer your island resources as fertile ground before it becomes fallow wasteland.

    I can imagine all this sounding as unwelcome an effort and change as a crusade to joust windmills, but do you have any more promising plans? Besides giving up?

    I know of places which have received park funding as living historical societies. In cahoots with Inspiration Farm sorts of entities, you might find methods of funding a sustainable transformation. In fact you might try having the whole island designated as a national sustainable culture research laboratory, and be able to divert some funding from NOAA, NASA, BLM, Fish and Game, USDA, DOE, and other such entities. If they can make an island ecological while supporting a rich modern culture, it can be the seed of doing likewise across the nation. Large corporations would also be glad to invest (or better yet for them, get subsidized), having both an ongoing role, and the promise of selling anything proven to work (like solar desalinators) directly to other nations. A nation that is falling apart would be glad to invest in finding out if there is hope.

  6. I saw some comments posted by Gunar, and somewhat agreed with them. I am not the same person. I am an LA,CA resident, moving to Sudden Valley as soon as I can pack, who has written this same sort of material, mostly at SurveyCentral.org for the last dozen years under the same name (my own, partially), where I used to even post things like my SSN# and photos of my drivers license, in an effort to thrwart off the potentially increasing trend of paranoid anonymity prevalent then. It also happens that I had a dream since childhood of becoming mayor of Catalina Island, if not being the next Walt Disney. I ended up becoming an artist, programmer, minister, and music instrument designer instead.

    RS has emailed me by name. Liken me to someone else if you wish, but I don’t think it’s a fair comparison.

  7. btw, thanks Wynne.

    Mike makes good sense. All my suggestions complement, rather than divert his wisdom.

    I don’t know if he means a passenger-only hydrofoil ferry or one with cars. Having the Chief on standby there for occasional cars makes good sense. The Chief won’t last forever though, nor be worth heavy maintenance investment if not fully utilized. I therefore suggest that any fast-ferry replacement have at least room for a couple of cars or a moderate delivery truck, such that the island can always at least get by with it alone. But I don’t suggest another 20-car replacement. Charge high for cars, and make volume car runs with the Chief on weekends, or better yet, just one run in the am and pm, otherwise your existing daily commuters would suffer (stupid idea as that was). (But still include one volume grocery day per week). – I do hope you folks at least car pool.

    I would suggest, whatever you were thinking to charge for cars, charge more and use that to invest in two island shuttles, scheduled loops and on-call cargo. Talk WTA into cargo-cart ramps for all their busses, starting with one which does a loop between Fairhaven and all the major shopping malls. The reason more people in places like Sudden Valley don’t use busses, is that they have to own cars anyhow to go shopping. I’ll be a die-hard rarity there on bicycle.

  8. About the oil.

    Peak oil is only half the problem. The other half of the problem is that several developing nations like China (with more than four times our population) will be wanting as much oil per capita as we have had, and it appears they will be in a better position to outbid us. This means that oil, and subsequently food, are going to cost us not double, but ten times as much in a decade from now. Unlike in pre-industrial times, few of us will have land and a cow. Without fuel for resmelting, wooden wagon wheels will make as much sense as aluminum, and yet the population to forest ratio is not what it was even a century ago. We are a mere decade from relying on solutions which don’t yet exist. Micro-farming might do the trick, but that means that 226 million of us are going to have to move in with 59 million rural folk, and aqueducts and highways will need to support that migration. Turning Lummi Island into a windmill driven Disneyland farm would pale in comparison to changes the rest of the nation would face, unless new solutions appear. In practical terms, this means that places like LI will not only have to be self-sufficient, but also support five times the current population. I bet no one was considering that part of the deal. Where will five times the water come from? At least you have sea water, which is a better start than most rural communities can claim. Someone mentioned you have a moat.

    I have some faith that answers will come along and prevent things being that drastic within a decade. Still, a decade goes by quickly. We knew about a peak oil a decade ago (several, actually), and look how little has changed. Do you think america can move in with it’s rural cousins with a two year warning, and learn hand farming, and pentuple their water supplies? I really doubt it. Rerouting aqueducts would also require fuel.

    The plans in my post above may have sounded a bit hippie-commune, but were really only a slight compromise with existing economics and the ferry issue. Peak oil is poised to blow away such petty concerns, and revolutionize culture in some way we can’t even fathom yet.

    The Chinese are probably the height of efficient culture, and yet they find they need to import fuel. So in other words, without fuel, we have no reason to even expect their standard of living, with textile sweat shops, and living room furniture sets being delivered on a single rick-shaw.

    We will live in interesting times, and approach them mostly with a ‘wait and see’ attitude, like deer gazing into headlights. Fun fun.

  9. Lummi natives.

    I don’t have exactly straight if island concerns are that the Lummis natives may not continue to permit ferry service at all, or simply that they will continue to charge what they recently do now. They charge the equivalent of a metropolitan bus fare or two. If you ask me, it’s reasonable, even if I were moving to the island as I’d hoped.

    Maybe they hope you will all move off, and they can have a nice place to moor kayaks.

    Someone joked about a casino on the island. Seriously though, if you bequeathed some land to the tribal reservation for a casino, as negotiation terms, your ferry problems would be over (until the oil runs out). Not only that, you’d have an opportunity for increased tourism, i.e. a reason for tailors and porcelain doll makers to imagine they could have a booth there.

    I checked out the lummi website, and they seem to be a humble, sensible, unpretentious people.

    Without oil, rural populations must multiply.
    The island needs new sustainable community investment.
    Native americans tend to have a respectful sentiment for nature and eco-sustainability.

    I don’t know if the local natives are interested in business or not.

    Instead of waiting for your island to decay, and fall back into native hands anyhow, perhaps the natives are exactly who you should be thinking about recruiting to bring a pumping heart back to the island.

    As I understand, they already have a marina. Give them more island reservation land for a marina at the casino, and you increase their marina usage, and have a local marina for increased tourism industry yourselves.

    Self-sustainability may be a vision you both share. It’s also possible they can borrow from other casino tribes to make a marina happen, where you and the state have failed.

    There is also talk in native communities of open tribal enrollment based on cultural beliefs, as pure blood criteria are dooming them to extinction. They were island natives. You are island natives. We all have an interest in economics; we all have a need to find post-industrial means of living with nature. Like the island, they too may be at risk of dying. Some hybrid of culture may be just what our next age here requires.

    Let me qualify these thoughts by mentioning that I know almost nothing of the local natives. I know of natives whom lecture on progressive radio about sustainability, and I’ve met other natives with much socio-cultural tradition habits sorely needed by western society at this time.

  10. Honestly Kristal, you are wearing me out. Appreciate all your ideas and suggestions but maybe it’s time for you to get local and focus on Sudden Valley. We’ll slog along out here and get it through it somehow.

  11. This gila monster had to take a day off from the stress of preparing to move to a dark rainy forest, which had my whole body going into system failure. I think I’m done for quite awhile, and for anyone actually interested in such material, my posts are conveniently packaged together for retrieval. I’ve worn myself out too. Analyzing the world’s outcomes, and rewriting it’s possibilities is hard for me put down at times. So yes, thank you for the prompting.

  12. Apologies to Krystal-who’s-not-Gunar after all.

    And to all — according to Cliff Mass, my favorite meteorologist (http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/), as of last Thursday we’ve ~got 1.5 hrs more daylight than at solstice and accruing ~3 minutes more each day.

  13. Krystal, Be careful in Sudden Valley, its a dark and regulated place. I knew you weren’t Gunar. Grow lots and prosper.

  14. I expect I’ll get some sunlight meeting some of you on a bike expedition to the island, to see what the option I missed out on looks like. Thanks.

  15. Wow my mind is going to explode
    Thanks Guys for putting a cork in it
    Now back to the Johnny Apple seed project

    The ferry fix is just to large for me to worry about but I will support the outcome
    I do get seasick so my life may change

  16. oooops! The LNBC is no longer cashing the checks…….

  17. If the Chief can make it to an existing ferry port in Fairhaven on occasion, it’s not like you’re immediately doomed. It does sound like a genuine pow-wow, and not just some outsider business negotiations is in order though. I wish you guys all the best, but as I see it, the state doesn’t want a new expense at a time when other operations are shutting down, you guys have never got it together yourselves to even get some boat slips and an island shuttle bus, and if I were the Lummi’s, I’d be recalling that the island was once theirs instead of something to admire from onshore, and all the tribe gets now is comparable to selling a car once a month. Read their statement. People skipped over the part they most specifically asked for – ‘good will’. Good will doesn’t have to cost a dime. It means demonstrating that you are trying to love, honor, understand, and respect your neighbor.

    I do know that they wish to reexpand their tribal holdings, and that you have a trust holding island land in preserve. It’s almost a slap in the face to them (I would think) that the island is not free for some limited hunting (presuming that is the case), and that the shores are probably all now considered private property. I have a problem myself with people restricting my right to hike along the full west coast of America. I suspect that you can end your problems and expenses with them simply by putting some of their members on the trust board, even if you both continue to agree that that land is not for commercial development or harvesting. It’s a direction to take up, at any rate, as you really have nothing else to negotiate with except continuing passage fees.

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