Working forests and a robust wood products industry are a natural answer to reducing carbon emissions. Researchers, private forestland owners and policymakers attending the Washington Forest Protection Association’s (WFPA) 111th annual meeting met in Olympia this week to discuss the critical function private forestland owners play in the state’s economy, way of life and environmental stewardship. This year, more than 120 natural resources thought leaders, forestry professionals, industry experts, and public officials attended the yearly event to discuss the need for more green buildings and how working forests can serve as a natural carbon solution and aid in salmon recovery.
“Sustainable forestry and wood production provide a fundamental good for society, adding to the quality of all our lives in multitudes of ways, including the removal of carbon from our atmosphere,” said Jason Spadaro, Washington Forest Protection Association president. “Washington’s working forests are the natural solution for our state and beyond, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Leading sustainability thinker Eric Corey Freed, who provided the keynote address, spoke of how the working forests and forestry industry is helping to solve some of the building industry’s most difficult challenges. Freed, also an award-winning architect, works with cities, companies, architects, and builders to incorporate sustainability into their businesses and designs.
“Aiming for zero-emission buildings isn’t just a necessity, it’s an opportunity,” Freed said. “This is an opportunity to rethink how we build our buildings and communities to be more vibrant and healthier.”
The event also included a 20-year retrospective on the impacts of the Forests & Fish Law, special recognition of former Gov. Gary Locke for his environmental leadership, and comments from David Postman, chief of staff for Gov. Jay Inslee’s office. In addition, the yearly meeting featured panel discussions on the important role working forests play in reducing greenhouse gases, salmon recovery efforts, and perspectives from state legislators on the upcoming 2020 legislative session. Among the state lawmakers participating in panel discussions: Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), Sen. John Braun (R-Centralia), Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber (R-Republic), Rep. Bill Ramos (D-Issaquah), Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien) and Rep. Richard DeBolt (R-Chehalis).
Founded in 1908, the WFPA is the trade association for the state’s private forestland owners. Initially created as a firefighting organization aimed at suppressing forest fires, the organization is a leader in sustainable forest practices and land stewardship. Today, WFPA represents private forestland owners who grow and harvest trees on nearly 4 million acres.
You can learn about the good works of Washington’s working forests in the 2019 WFPA Annual report.
Watch WFPA’s 2019 Annual Meeting on TVW:
WFPA President Jason Spadaro welcome/remarks, WFPA Executive Director Mark Doumit remarks, Forests & Fish 20th Anniversary, Washington Tree Farm Program and Stu Bledsoe award recipient former Gov. Gary Locke.
“Grow more trees, use more wood – a natural carbon solution” with Jason Spadaro, Dr. Edie Sonne Hall (3 Trees Consulting), Dr. Indroneil Ganguly (University of Washington), and State Reps. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34th) and Richard DeBolt (R-20th).
David Postman, Cheif of Staff for Gov. Jay Inslee remarks.
“The need for green building” with Eric Corey Freed, founding principle of organic-ARCHITECT.
“Water quality solutions for salmon recovery” with Darin Cramer (WFPA), Mark Smalley (Rayonier), Vince McGowan (Washington Dept. of Ecology) and Dr. John Stark (Washington State University Puyallup Research).
“Legislative perspectives” with Jason Callahan (WFPA), State Sens. Karen Keiser (D-33rd) and John Bruan (R-20th), and State Reps. Jacquelin Maycumber (R-7th) and Bill Ramos (D-5th).