Healthy forests provide a wide array of benefits including clean and abundant water, recreation, cleaner air, habitat for iconic species, and local jobs. For decades, WEC has advocated at the state level for common-sense measures to protect and sustainably manage our forests for current or future generations. Our work ranges from defending core environmental laws to advancing policies that improve the health of our forests and protect local communities who depend on intact and productive forest lands.
In addition to providing policy expertise, WEC excels at securing funding for critical forest and conservation programs and projects. Recently, WEC worked with diverse partners to secure permanent funding for utilizing credible science to shape and adapt forest management goals and practices. We have also secured hundreds of millions of dollars over the years for habitat protection, forest restoration, removing fish passage barriers on private forest lands.
The state’s capital budget funding has real world impacts for our forest projects, a prime example was funding for Busy Wild Creek Protection, a $6.5 million project to purchase 1,920 acres of forest land for the Nisqually Community Forest. The Busy Wild Creek Protection Project is a privately-managed acquisition project that protects salmon habitat AND provides public recreational uses. A popular section of the hut-to-hut cross-country ski trail is secured with this funding. This project also provides benefits for fish, controls erosion, and improves water quality. The Nisqually Community Forest project was vetted and emerged as the highest ranked project for funding in the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration project list.