Posted by: cryptocarolyn | March 27, 2009

Washington Supreme Court Judges Debate Sasquatch Analogy

Case Issue:

The court was asked to determine whether the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board was correct in finding that Ferry County was noncompliant with the state’s Growth Management Act.

After reviewing evidence, the Board decided that Ferry County failed to consider the “best available science” when it determined to list only two species as endangered, threatened, or sensitive in its critical areas ordinance.

The Supreme Court affirmed the decision.

Judge Johnson’s Dissent:

During the text of his dissenting opinion, Judge Johnson analogizes this case’s issue to that of Sasquatch protection:

“The result is analogous to requiring designation of critical habitat for the sasquatch, a species which the county and its biologist expert could not prove is not present. Repeated reports of sasquatch sightings do not, in my view, constitute “best available science” nor require counties to hire expensive experts to disprove its presence. As further noted below, this case is more extreme. Unlike the sasquatch, several of these supposed endangered species have no reported sightings in Ferry County.”

Judge Chambers Retort on the Sasquatch dissent:

Judge Chambers concurred with the majority opinion, but doesn’t neglect to comment on the dissent’s recognition of Bigfoot when he writes:

“I am bemused by my learned colleague’s knowledge of “[r]epeated reports of sasquatch sightings.”

Would you like more information?

The text of this case is available at 155 Wn.2d 824; 123 P.3d 102; 2005 Wash. LEXIS 922

“THE UNCERTAIN STATUS OF THE SASQUATCH OR BIGFOOT IN WESTERN NORTH AMERICA” abstract (John A. Bindernagel. Ursus Environmental Consultants) about why the study of Sasquatch and its critical habitat should be taken seriously can be viewed here: http://www.washingtonwildlifesoc.org/shared/2005%20Abstracts_final.pdf

Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearing Board website: http://www.gmhb.wa.gov/eastern/index.html

Washington Growth Management Act: http://www.gmhb.wa.gov/gma/index.html

Ferry County website: http://www.ferry-county.com/

What do you think?

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