Washington forestry association celebrates its 110th anniversary

AshleyNEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 7, 2018

Contact: Cindy Mitchell, 360-791-9372

The Washington Forest Protection Association, the trade association for the state’s private forest landowners, is celebrating its 110th anniversary at its annual meeting on Thursday in Olympia.

WFPA was founded in 1908 when leaders in the timber business mailed letters to timberland owners inviting them to form a voluntary association to suppress forest fires. The group has grown over the last century and now represents private forest landowners growing and harvesting trees on about 4 million acres in Washington. Members are large and small companies, individuals and families who practice sustainable forestry in Washington’s private forests.

About 130 forestry professionals and public officials are expected to attend the 2018 WFPA annual meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Indian Summer Golf & Country Club in Olympia.

Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is the lead speaker, and the theme of this year’s meeting is “Washington’s Working Forests, Growing Better Tomorrows.”

Much of the event will be devoted to discussion on how Washington forestry can contribute to such issues as forest health, air and water quality and carbon sequestration.

Indroneil Ganguly, assistant professor at University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences; Jason Spadaro, President of SDS Lumber Co.; and forestry consultant Edie Sonne Hall will lead a panel about the connection between carbon and forestry.

Among the other speakers and panelists are Ted Sturdevant, Chief of Staff at the Washington Department of Natural Resources; Cody Desautel, Land and Property Director for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; Kevin Godbout, Director of Environmental Affairs at Weyerhaeuser; and Bill Monahan, Resource Unit Leader at Rayonier.

Norm Schaaf, who recently retired as Vice President of Merrill & Ring and served 28 years in WFPA leadership, will receive WFPA’s highest honor, the Stu Bledsoe Award for outstanding leadership.

Among the state lawmakers participating in a panel discussion previewing the 2019 Legislative Session in Olympia are Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island; Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia; Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Olympic Peninsula; and Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm.

About the Washington Forest Protection Association

The Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA) represents private forest landowners growing and harvesting trees on about 4 million acres in Washington State. Members of the 110-year-old association are large and small companies, individuals and families who practice sustainable forestry in Washington’s private forests. For more information, go to www.wfpa.org.