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Eye On Olympia

Fri., April 18, 2003, 2:10 p.m.

Small-forest owners win…

The state Senate this week trimmed controversial new forest-road maintenance rules, saying the regulations were intended for timber companies, not mom-and-pop forest owners.
These so-called RMAP rules are a big issue in northern and northeastern Washington, which sent dozens of small-forest owners to Olympia this year. They feared they'd get hit with tens of thousands of dollars worth of road and culvert work to forest roads that are hardly ever used.
Among the changes: instead of an expensive, big plan, small forest owners can fill out a simple checklist. The bill also puts limits on how much they can be forced to pay to remove fish barriers.
"The optimal outcome would be to have the state pick up 100 percent of all the costs," said Sen. Bob Morton, R-Orient. "However, this bill improves things for our state's small forest owners."

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