HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4005
State of Washington 54th Legislature 1995 Regular Session
By Representatives Hargrove, Cairnes, Pelesky, Goldsmith, Buck, Johnson, Clements, Carrell, McMahan, Campbell, Koster, Padden, Huff, Backlund, Reams, Pennington, Stevens, Fuhrman, Silver, Crouse, Casada, Thompson and Sherstad
Read first time 01/13/95. Referred to Committee on Natural Resources.
TO THE HONORABLE BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The United States government negotiated a number of treaties, known as "the Stevens Treaties," with several different Indian tribes in Washington in the mid-1850's; and
WHEREAS, Interpretations of these treaties in federal court decisions, most notably a 1974 decision by federal district judge Boldt, have resulted in exceptional fishing privileges for tribal members in areas well beyond the boundaries of tribally owned lands; and
WHEREAS, The most recent decision from a federal district court extends these exceptional privileges to the harvesting of shellfish, even going so far as to allow trespass onto private lands to collect shellfish; and
WHEREAS, These court interpretations have resulted in a significant impact on Washington's economy and threaten to erode private property rights to tidelands, water rights, and other privately held natural resources; and
WHEREAS, In 1984, the citizens of the state of Washington declared that, while fully respecting private property rights, all resources in the state's domain shall be managed by the state alone such that conservation, enhancement, and proper utilization are the primary considerations, and that no citizen shall be denied constitutionally protected private property rights;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully beseech that the United States government renegotiate the terms of the Stevens Treaties to provide citizens opportunities in common to all residents of the state of Washington without special privileges to select groups, to provide protection for private property rights, to allow for tribal management of only those lands owned by the tribes and the natural resources found thereon, and to provide for management of the state's fish, wildlife, and natural resources by the state as called for by the people of the state.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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