SPOKANE, Wash. (CN) – The Washington Court of Appeals upheld the critical areas ordinance in Stevens County, ruling that a property owner failed to follow the rules in nominating the Loon Lake
wetlands and the red-necked grebe for environmental protection.
Jeanie Wagenman sued the county on behalf of the Loon Lake Property Owners Association, Loon Lake Defense Fund and Larson Beach Neighbors, challenging its critical areas ordinance. She asked the county to designate the wetlands as a locally important habitat for the red-necked grebe, a water bird that breeds in small inland lakes in Canada and Alaska, and winters along both coasts of North America. The species is listed as threatened in Wisconsin.
Judge Brown affirmed a ruling for the county, citing a lack of evidence that the plaintiffs had followed the county’s nomination process, including completing an environmental checklist, documenting public notice methods and paying a filing fee.