Collaboration is focus of 2016 WFPA Annual Meeting


Collaboration and the concerns of rural communities were top of mind this week at the 108th annual meeting of the Washington Forest Protection Association in Olympia on Nov. 16. The election of Donald Trump as president shined a spotlight on the needs of residents who live in smaller communities outside large cities, several participants said, and Washington state government’s continued split – with Republicans controlling the State Senate and Democrats controlling the State House and the Governor’s Office – means collaboration is more important than ever.In Washington State, “people are really going to have to work together in a bipartisan way,” said Cindi Holmstrom, a government affairs consultant and former Director of the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Patti Case, public affairs and regulatory manager for Green Diamond Resource Co., added that the invigorated national conversation about the economic disparity among U.S. citizens creates opportunities to show how the forestry industry has a positive economic impact on rural communities.

David Postman, the Chief of Staff to Gov. Jay Inslee, said the Democratic governor and his staff “actually have a lot of goals in common” with the forestry industry and want to work together on promoting cross-laminated timber, cutting carbon pollution and reforming how the Forest Service pays to fight wildfires.

Hilary Franz, who will take office in January as State Commissioner of Public Lands, said the national election results show that “it’s very, very apparent that people have felt for too long that their voices haven’t been heard.” She said she will be listening in communities around the state, and one of her goals is to “close the divide between rural and urban communities” in Washington. “Everyone,” she said, “should be in a better place economically, socially and envirionmentally.”

At the beginning of the annual meeting, WFPA honored Dave Roseleip with its annual Stu Bledsoe Award for outstanding leadership and involvement. Roseleip retired last year after more than 30 years as President of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation, also known as AgForestry.

The annual Stu Bledsoe Award is named after WFPA’s Executive Director from 1978 to 1988, who cared deeply about Washington and established a new model for environmental cooperation by negotiating the state Timber-Fish-Wildlife Agreement.

Cindy Mitchell, WFPA’s Senior Director of Public Affairs, and Doug Hooks, WFPA’s Director of Forest & Environmental Programs, presented the award to Roseleip. Both forestry leaders are graduates of the AgForestry program and spoke about Roseleip’s positive impact on their lives and careers.

After receiving the award, Roseleip spoke about his close relationship with Bledsoe, his commitment to operating with integrity and the many friendships he developed in his three decades of service.

TVW was also on hand to record the annual meeting. Use the links below to see each video.

  • Welcoming Remarks by WFPA Executive Director Mark Doumit and WFPA President Kevin Godbout
  • Remarks by outgoing Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark
  • 2016 Election Recap with Cindi Holmstrom, Patti Case and Michael Davis, President of Enterprise Washington
  • Remarks by David Postman
  • Roundtable Discussion from newly elected statewide officials, with Hilary Franz, Lt. Gov.-Elect Cyrus Habib and Maia Bellon, Director of the State Department of Ecology
  • 2016 Legislative Session Preview with Sen. Judy Warnick, Sen. Dean Takko, Rep. Brian Blake and Rep. Vincent Buys