Time to return the land to our children

It troubles me greatly to see the Tulalip Bay leasing article written and published without comment from the tribal leaders. The Marysville/Tulalip Community Association is apparently seeking out the court of public opinion. A lease is plain and simply a lease – not forever and always with a termination date. Every court would agree! Perhaps someone told the lessees “not to worry about it” but certainly that never came from the lessor, the Tulalip Board of Directors. If it had, it would have been put in writing and signed by both parties.

Tulalip’s mindset is quite simple. We want our future generations to enjoy the land they own, unencumbered by leases. In about 20 more years, that will happen. My 11-year-old daughter and her future children will be the beneficiaries of that decision, which provided one 15-year option to renew before the leases terminate.

We envision a Tulalip Bay with great beach access for our grandchildren and surrounded by homes owned by our grandchildren. It is in fact their land and they have a right to inhabit it and enjoy it for their lifetime.

We are thankful for the long relationship we have had with our many lessees as we both realized great benefit from the leasing program. They got a great view at a well below market value and we in turn got the revenue to help us get to where we are today. The time simply came where we needed to return the land to the rightful owners and let them live on and enjoy it.

Your thoughts are important to us and we really do care. It’s tough to stand by a decision as it affects many lives but nevertheless, it is the right decision to make on behalf of the Tulalip people!

Les Parks

Former member, Tulalip Board of Directors

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