Five years ago, as the rumblings of growth management began to be felt around the State of Washington, residents of Whatcom County were still blissfully unaware of political undercurrents that would — two years later — throw us into a turmoil from which we have yet to recover.

Only now are we beginning to understand how our peaceful little corner of the state was blind-sided by real estate opportunists intent on usurping political power by any means necessary. The election of 1993 would give carpetbaggers free rein at plundering our landscape and the serenity that we naively took for granted.

Thanks in large part to the dedicated research of investigative reporter Paul de Armond, we have begun to see how democratic processes and public institutions were strategically disrupted and how previous community safeguards and regulating mechanisms failed us. We will never return to our halcyon past, nor will we forgive those few who conspired to tear our community asunder for a few fast bucks.

Mr. de Armond has produced a document that we hope will not only help our community begin to heal, but one which we also believe will be helpful to other communities in understanding the Wise Use Movement and its destructive, anti-democratic nature. For this, Mr. de Armond has our deepest gratitude.

Jay Taber Executive Director Whatcom Environmental Council

August 7, 1995


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