WFPA members are committed to advancing sustainable forestry in Washington State to provide forest products and environmental benefits for the public.

Lands Commissioner makes push for Wash. forest thinning

Peter Goldmark isn't happy with the state of affairs when it comes to Washington wildfire funding. The state Public Lands Commissioner requested from the Legislature $20 million over two years to thin forests and other wildfire protection, but so far, state lawmakers are balking. The House proposed biennial budget includes just $5 million for forest thinning, while the Senate budget has no money for thinning. 

Goldmark is also asking for an additional $4.5 million to fight the wildfires when they happen, but the House is proposing just $2.5 million and the Senate nothing.

This is disappointing, especially given that just this week Gov. Jay Inslee expanded the state emergency drought declaration from a handful of counties to almost half the state. The state's snowpack is just 22 percent of normal, which is a record for April. The drier the ground, the easier wildfires start.   

It's no surprise, then, that Goldmark is working hard to make sure the state understands the dire consequences if firefighting crews don't have enough money to fight fires, or state-owned forests aren't actively managed to make them less suspectible to fire. In the last few weeks, he's done interviews with KING 5, KIRO 7 and the Vancouver Columbian. Earlier in the year, the Tacoma News Tribune editorial board came out in favor of Goldmark's request for $20 million for forest thinning, and this week the Columbian editorial board came out in support as well, having this to say:

When it comes to wildfires, an old axiom applies: We can pay for them now or pay for them later. What isn't included in that saw, however, is the idea that paying for wildfires later will greatly increase the price.

Forests and Fish collaborators support DNR and the Governor's funding request for Adaptive Management

The Adaptive Management Program supports the science and accountability foundation of the Forests & Fish Law.

WFPA supports extension of tax credit for biomass to produce renewable energy

Use of forest-derived biomass produces energy, and can help reduce the threat of wildfires by paying for the cost of thinning to improve forest health.

Counties and schools receive the Forest Harvest Excise Tax (FET) and property tax

Public and private timber harvesters pay the FET in addition to the property tax on timberland.

Private landowners help fund wildfire costs

Private landowners share the burden of preparing for and fighting wildfire.

Wood is our Most Natural Resource

Wood from sustainably managed forests provides the best low-energy building material.

Forest Products Industry Jobs Impact

Nearly 40,000 direct jobs are provided by the forest products industry.

Forest Products Industry Economic Impact

Washington is the 2nd largest lumber producer in the nation, paying wages, taxes and providing environmental benefits for Washington State.

Forest Landowner RMAP Accomplishments

From 2001 through June 2013, landowners have removed an impressive 5,587 barriers to fish passage, restoring 3,811 miles of historic fish habitat.