There are several key decisions pending before the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that could further restrict the management of Washington’ state trust lands, which generate revenue to support essential county services and other beneficiaries, including schools. Timber harvests from these trust lands also support tens of thousands of jobs in Western Washington’s timber communities.
This Thursday, March 22, the three legislators from the 24th Legislative District will host a legislative forum in Forks where your voice is needed to urge them to support the active management of these forests to generate jobs and revenue for rural communities across the Olympic Peninsula. Please plan to attend the event to urge them to honor the state’s trust mandate for these lands and its obligation to our rural communities.
24th Legislative District Town Hall
March 22, 2018 — Noon- 1 p.m.
Rainforest Arts Center, 35 N Forks Ave.
Here are key forest-related issues you should know about:
Marbled Murrelet. The DNR is developing a plan that would set aside thousands of acres of state trust lands for the Marbled Murrelet, a small seabird primarily found in Alaska and British Columbia. During the Legislative session, legislators from timber communities – including Senator Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim) sought to hold DNR accountable to live up to its trust mandate, which requires that it not set aside any acres beyond the minimum required under the federal endangered species act. You can learn more about the issue at our website and view highlights from an hour-plus debate on the plan that took place on the floor of the House of Representatives last month.
Senator Van De Wege fought to secure language in the state budget reaffirming DNR’s trust mandate. Please urge all three legislators to hold DNR accountable to produce a murrelet plan with the least possible impact on our local communities and economy.
Trust Land Valuation. The Legislature also included a budget provision and state funding to require DNR to contract with a third-party to conduct a valuation of state trust lands – their value and the revenues (and harvests) they can generate. Please urge the 24th district legislators to remain engaged in this process to maximize the benefits from our state trust lands.