State of Our Forests Report
Since 2015, WEC and WCV have published an annual State of our Forests and Public Lands report highlighting the progress of the Commissioner of Public Lands and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). As nonprofit organizations, it’s our responsibility to keep the public informed on how well elected officials are protecting the environment. The Commissioner of Public Lands is the only elected statewide position that works almost exclusively with our natural resources, making it one of the most important positions for Washington’s environment.
The Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz directs the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and is the only elected statewide office that works almost exclusively with our natural resources, making it a very important position for rural communities, wildlife, and salmon.
The threats to our forests and rural communities are real. Healthy forests support millions of dollars in economic activity in timber, fishing, and recreation, and thousands of jobs across the state. They protect our most critical drinking water sources, clean our air, and are one of our best tools to fight the climate crisis. Commissioner Franz has the opportunity to sustainably manage state and private forest lands that benefit the environment and local communities across Washington and we will continue to push her towards progress.
Together with Washington Conservation Voters, we reviewed DNR’s past year to determine where there has been success and where more work is needed.
How has our current Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, been doing? View our fifth annual State of our Forests and Public Lands Report to find out.
Check out what the agency has been doing in the face of COVID-19, how the Commissioner is prioritizing wildfire resilience, and why decisions on determining if fish can live in streams are so important.
Previous State of Our Forests and Public Lands Reports:
The Forest Practices Board (FPB) is an independent state agency that adopts the rules that set standards for forest practices such as timber harvests, pre-commercial thinning, road construction and forest chemical applications on forestlands in Washington. The FPB’s public meetings are held on the second Wednesday of February, May, August and November. You can attend the FPB’s virtual meetings and sign up to provide public comment here.
The Board of Natural Resources (BNR) sets the policies that guide DNR on a variety of decisions to ensure that scientifically sound, forward-thinking management practices are implemented on the 2.1 million acres of public forestlands managed by the Department of Natural Resources. The BNR’s public meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month. You can attend these virtual meetings and sign up to provide public comment here.
Rachel Baker, Evergreen Forests Program Director