Suquamish Tribe challenges Bainbridge Island CAO

Kitsap Sun:

The Suquamish Tribe wants the state to force Bainbridge Island to redraw its Critical Areas Ordinance, believing the measure falls short of protecting marine shorelines central to Native American culture.

The Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board scheduled a September hearing in Seattle on the tribe’s “petition for review” of Bainbridge Island’s newly updated ordinance. A decision is due by November, according to papers filed in the case Monday.

Tribal officials say Bainbridge Island should require natural buffers in undeveloped shoreline areas to protect tidelands and waters surrounding the island. Tribal members traditionally have used those areas for fishing and shellfish gathering.

They predict the habitat for treaty-protected fish and shellfish could be hurt if the city fails to call for the buffers.