Thanks to your help, we’re making progress protecting working forests in Snohomish County.
First, the Snohomish County Council has so far declined to seek “reconveyance” (or conversion) of DNR trust lands into a county park- a proposal that comes with questionable benefits and costs. Proponents of this proposal have falsely claimed the Tulalip Tribe supports putting these forests out of work. However, during a County Council meeting last week, the Tulalip Tribe reaffirmed their support for these working forests, and expressed concerns with how the proposal would affect wildlife, local workers and their own treaty rights.
Second, the Washington State Board of Natural Resources (BNR) last week voted to approve the “Middle May” timber sale that is a target of anti-forestry activism on the Reiter Foothills. In an extraordinary press release announcing approval of the sale, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said the timber sale is:
“the result of a comprehensive community engagement process and reflects the input of tribes, recreationists, conservationists, trust beneficiaries, and community leaders…By moving forward in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner, we are able to provide financial support to public schools, create new recreation opportunities and family-wage jobs, and preserve the treaty rights of tribes that have used these lands since time immemorial.”
While the BNR approved the timber sale, they also delayed it another 90 days to give Snohomish County more time to consider stopping this project. Your voice is still needed. If you haven’t already please send a message to the County Council that you support these local working forests.
Dan Chaplik, superintendent of the Sultan School District, described how students in his community benefit from DNR trust land management and timber sales such as Middle May. Once again, from the DNR press release:
“The revenue generated from these trust lands is critical to our operations. Over the next four-year budget cycle, we have budgeted $550,000 per year for critical repairs, student learning materials, and other facilities needs that are not covered by state funding, based on recent revenues received from these lands. Over the past two decades, the Sultan School District has received nearly $7.8 million from these lands, which has helped us complete many important projects in our school district and softened the burden for our taxpayers in our property-poor area.”
Help ensure the Reiter Foothills continues to provide all of these benefits. Take two minutes and click here to send a message to the Snohomish County Council not to reconvey these lands and limit them to multiple uses.