The Douglas County Commission is coming out against large land purchases by various state agencies. Commissioner Marc Straub is particularly irked at a purchase by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife of a couple of large parcels of land in the Big Bend Wildlife Area, about 15 miles northwest of Grand Coulee that ranchers use for grazing and other farm related activities. Straub says he normally doesn't have a problem with a purchase between a willing seller and a willing buyer . . . except when the willing buyer is a government entity:
Straub says he's heard from ranchers and livestock producers lamenting that they're losing access to grazing land. Not only that, but wildfires such as the Pearl Hill Fire that devastate grazing lands for a number of years.
Straub says in most cases, public taxpayer dollars shouldn't compete against the private sector, and pushing back against those sales isn't easy, but it's the wise thing to do.