|By Maryann Whitman
You Gonna Do About It?
In 1917, during World War I, the Washington State
Legislature passed a bill which reads,
in part, “… all
waters within the state belong to the
public, and any right thereto, or to
the use thereof, shall be hereafter acquired
only by appropriation for a beneficial use and
in the manner provided and not otherwise. …” The
practical upshot of this law is that
all water in Washington, whether in rivers,
lakes, the ocean, or the atmosphere is
the property of the people and subject to regulation
by state government. To be within the letter of
the law, residents need to apply for
special permits to restrict the flow of rainwater.
One would suppose that this rule also applies
to rain gardens.
For many years, people have collected
rainwater for use on their property.
This practice may be illegal. Senate
Bill 5113, presented to the Washington State Senate
in January 2005, is designed to allow the Department
of Ecology (yes, they have a Department of Ecology
in Washington State), to draft rules to permit
the legal use of rain barrels and cisterns to
collect water for beneficial use on one’s
own property. Landowners would not need to seek
permits on an individual basis. The Washington
State Department of Ecology has no interest or
intent to require a water right for rain barrels.
to Identify an Insect You Found?
If you would like help to identify an
insect, spider, or one of their kin,
visit the guide at www.bugguide.net/.
If you don’t find it there, and you have
an image of it, you may wish
to register and request an identification
by posting your image in the “ID Request” section.
of the web site: Dedicated naturalists
volunteer their time and resources to provide
this service. We strive to provide accurate information,
but we are mostly just amateurs attempting to
make sense of a diverse natural world. If you
professional advice, contact your local extension
I like their attitude; sounds a lot like that
of Wild Ones.
Maryann is Editor of the Wild Ones Journal, and comes to the position with an extensive background in environmental matters of all kinds.
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