At WEC, we love our forests and bet you do too. These important landscapes help us combat climate change, provide wood products, and allow Washingtonians to get outside and explore the great outdoors.
One of our most important jobs as organizations is to keep the public informed on how well elected officials are measuring up to their potential to protect our environment, including Washington’s forests and public lands.
The Commissioner of Public Lands is the only elected statewide office that works almost exclusively with our natural resources, making it a very important position for wildlife, salmon, and rural communities.
Together with Washington Conservation Voters, we produced the 2019 State of our Forests and Public Lands report that looks back on the past year and highlights where there has been good progress, where some work still needs to be done, and areas that need more leadership from the Commissioner.
How has our current Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, been doing? View our fourth annual State of our Forests and Public Lands report to find out.
Throughout this report, we were looking for measureable progress – meaningful, at-scale change to help meet the environmental and climate challenges of today. A lack of decisions on critical private and state forest issues continues to be a weak spot, including identifying fish-bearing streams so they can be protected appropriately and adopting a conservation strategy for marbled murrelets.
However, Commissioner Franz is making good progress on higher-profile public lands concerns and taking action to address climate change. Where she has chosen to lead, she has accomplished results.
We encourage the Commissioner and DNR to put similar resources and leadership into all the challenges outlined in this report. Washington needs a Commissioner who will make tough decisions to protect forests and salmon.
This office has such incredible potential for our environment, and WEC and WCV look forward to continuing to work with the Commissioner and her staff to realize this promise.