(1) A person in possession of real property conveyed by the state of Washington pursuant to the authority of chapter 24, Laws of 1895 (Bush act) or chapter 25, Laws of 1895 (Callow act), wherein such lands are subject to a possibility of reversion, shall heretofore have and are granted the further right to use all of the property for the purpose of cultivating and propagating clams and any shellfish.
(2) The rights granted under subsection (1) of this section do not include the right to use subtidal portions of Bush act and Callow act lands for the harvest and cultivation of any species of shellfish that had not commenced prior to December 31, 2001.
(3) For the purposes of this section, harvest and cultivation of any species of shellfish shall not be deemed to have commenced unless the subtidal portions of the land had been planted with that species of shellfish prior to December 31, 2001.
(4) No vested rights in shellfish cultivation may be impaired by any of the provisions of chapter 123, Laws of 2002, nor is anything other than what is stated in subsection (2) of this section intended to grant any further rights in the subtidal lands than what was originally included under the intent of the Bush and Callow acts.
Findings—2002 c 123:
"The legislature declares that shellfish farming provides a consistent source of quality food, offers opportunities of new jobs, increases farm income stability, and improves balance of trade. The legislature also finds that many areas of the state of Washington are scientifically and biologically suitable for shellfish farming, and therefore the legislature has encouraged and promoted shellfish farming activities, programs, and development with the same status as other agricultural activities, programs, and development within the state. It being the policy of this state to encourage the development and expansion of shellfish farming within the state and to promote the development of a diverse shellfish farming industry, the legislature finds that the uncertainty surrounding reversionary clauses contained in Bush act and Callow act deeds is interfering with this policy. The legislature finds that uncertainty of the grant of rights for the claim and other shellfish culture as contained in chapter 166, Laws of 1919 must be fully and finally resolved. It is not the intent of this act to impair any vested rights in shellfish cultivation or current shellfish aquaculture activities to which holders of Bush act and Callow act lands are entitled." [ 2002 c 123 § 1.