Gov. Jay Inslee to headline annual state forestry meeting


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 4, 2014
Contact: Cindy Mitchell, 360-791-9372

Gov. Jay Inslee to headline annual state forestry meeting

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is the keynote speaker this week at the 106th annual meeting of the Washington Forest Protection Association, which will also mark the 15th anniversary of the state’s landmark Forests & Fish Law, one of the toughest sets of environmental regulations in the country.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Building Our Future With Wood: The Most Natural Resource,” and a panel of experts and a video from pioneering B.C. architect Michael Green will explore the benefits of using wood as the primary material in the construction of large buildings.

About 140 forestry professionals and public officials are expected to attend the annual meeting from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at the Indian Summer Golf & Country Club in Olympia. The WFPA is the trade association for the state’s private forest landowners.

Industry leaders will also be celebrating the 1999 Forests & Fish Law. Since the law was passed, large forest landowners have improved tens of thousands of miles of forest roads, reopened about 3,800 miles of fish habitat and cleared about 5,600 stream blockages.

Among the other speakers and panelists are U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor; Gene Duvernoy, President of the land conservation group Forterra; Phil Anderson, the Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Washington State Forester Aaron Everett; Stephen Bernath, senior policy analyst at the Washington State Department of Ecology; Court Stanley, President of Port Blakely Tree Farms; Toby Murray, President and CEO of Murray Pacific Corp.; Cindi Holstrom of Pierce Consulting Services; and Dr. Thomas Maness, the Dean of the School of Forestry at Oregon State University.

Former U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, who retired last year after 36 years in Congress, will receive WFPA’s highest honor, the Stu Bledsoe Award for outstanding leadership.

Sam and Joy Comstock, who own a 70-acre tree farm in Mason County, will be recognized as 2014 Washington Tree Farmers of the Year.

Representing the future of the industry, a panel of recent forestry graduates from Northwest colleges will discuss opportunities for young forestry professionals.

We’re managing private forests so they work for all of us. ®

Among the state lawmakers participating in a panel discussion previewing the 2015 Legislative Session in Olympia are Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens; Sen. John Braun, R- Centralia; Rep. Dean Takko, D-Longview; 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 100-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