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District 2: Don "Bud" Hover

Hover, 56, represents District 2 and is in his seventh year on the commission. Born in Seattle and raised in Issaquah, he graduated with a degree in agriculture and forest management from Washington State University. He played professional football in Canada and for the Washington Redskins. He has lived, and farmed, near Winthrop for 36 years. He expects to receive his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington in February. He and his wife Tonya have two children and three grandchildren. He previously has held no elected office and says he has not decided if he will seek another term.

He became motivated to run for office after the National Marine Fisheries Service decided to target Methow irrigators on behalf of endangered salmon, Hover recounts. The controversial NMFS effort sparked local outrage.

Today, NMFS has changed tactics to rely on collaboration with local communities and tribes to achieve salmon recovery. And Hover sits on the Upper Columbia Salmon Board, which has completed the first federally approved salmon restoration plan on the Columbia River. Hover says being able to change something that had been “so negative in my life” to a positive outcome is among the things he’s most proud of as a commissioner.

Hover acknowledges that the state supreme court’s ruling in the Kittitas case makes clear that Okanogan County commissioners are responsible for ensuring that water permits are issued in compliance with state law. This means that before commissioners approve short plats or subdivisions, they must require applicants to prove to county commissions not only that the water exists but also that it legally can be extracted. But Hover disagrees with the court’s ruling that Kittitas County’s development approach impaired senior water rights. “They had no data that support that,” he contends.

Asked if he’s concerned that Huston - one of the architects of what turned out to be a legally unacceptable land use plan in Kittitas County - is now in charge of preparing Okanogan County’s plan, Hover chuckles.

“The flip side is a lot of times you can learn from your mistakes,” he says. The comprehensive plan, which he expects to be finished - though not adopted - by mid-summer, will be reviewed by an attorney to assure that it complies with state law. Final adoption probably is six moths to a year away, he says.




photo of comissioner lampe
Lampe says state and federal incursions onto the county’s land base affect its growth and development patterns.



photo of commissioner hover
“My one over-riding concern is wolves,” says DeTro. “I’ve taken a lot of flak over the wolf issue. I don’t want to eradicate them.”



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