KENNEWICK, Wash. - Two men are battling to be Washington's Public Lands Commissioner. Franklin County farmer Clint Didier is jumping into the political ring again to challenge the incumbent, Peter Goldmark.
Goldmark has held the Lands Commission seat for the last four years. Didier is new to the political scene but he has some big ideas. He's hoping to make some changes that would give the public a bigger role in Washington's land management.
"Include the people, don't exclude them," said Didier. His idea is to get various organizations and groups throughout the state more involved by adopting different forests, lakes and rivers.
"Think about the adopt a highway," said Didier. "You get the adopt a highway people out there. They have their groups, they clean up the highway, pick up garbage. That would be one of the tasks. One of the main tasks would be being the eyes and ears of the forest."
He envisions the citizens of Washington playing a larger role in the use and management of the land.
"We got revenue, we got recreation and then we got stewardship and a healthy forest is one that has to be maintained," said Didier. "It has to have good stewardship as far as maintenance."
His decision to run for lands commissioner was last minute. In fact, he put his name in the hat just two hours before the deadline. But Didier said he's qualified for the job.
"Well, I'm already a steward of the land. I'm a farmer," said Didier. "I've been farming ever since I was born. I was born right here in Pasco. Born and raised on a farm. Second generation farmer and I know about land use and how to profit from it."