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Petition

to Support the

Carbon Project

and Restore the Moratorium on Logging of 120-Year Old Forests

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Dear Commissioner Franz:

 

In March of 2021, you made a promise to evaluate “alternative uses to logging, including biodiversity, carbon storage, water quality, and recreation” for state forests originating prior to 1900.  Last year, you broke that promise by ending the moratorium and releasing all of these forests for commercial harvest.  Since then, timber sales that had been on hold, such as Ode to Joyce and On the Line, have been allowed to move forward, putting at risk more than 1,200 acres of the oldest remaining lowland legacy forests in Western Washington.

 

Meanwhile, your management staff continue to promote the false assertion that half of all state forestlands have been set aside for conservation, and that storing carbon in manufactured wood products is an effective way to mitigate climate change.  Tree planting may enhance carbon sequestration and storage on barren or fallow lands, but logging older, native forests releases far more carbon into the atmosphere over time than is stored in lumber and plywood.

 

You acknowledged during your testimony to the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources, and Parks Committee last December that there is a need to manage our state forestlands to be more resilient to climate change, drought, and wildfires; and that there is a growing concern in many communities that DNR is not doing enough to protect wildlife habitat and water quality.  The best way to address these concerns is to protect our oldest, most biologically diverse and carbon dense forests.

 

Last October, DNR published maps of proposed forested parcels to be considered for protection as part of the Carbon Project.  We applaud you for recognizing the carbon offset market as an alternative source of revenue, and including close to 4,000 acres of legacy forests as candidates for protection under the Carbon Project.  However, recent legislation you have endorsed (HB 1798) fails to grant DNR the authority to defer harvest of existing forests and sell the carbon offset credits directly to buyers.

 

It is long past time to end the senseless destruction of our precious and rapidly disappearing lowland legacy forests.  These forests are irreplaceable, and must be protected.  We urge you to restore the moratorium on logging of pre-1900 origin forests, and exercise your authority as Public Lands Commissioner to implement the Carbon Project to protect our publicly owned legacy forests.

This petition will be sent to the following people:

Hilary Franz

Commissioner of Public Lands

360-902-1000

hilary.franz@dnr.wa.gov

Angus Brodie

Deputy Supervisor for State Uplands

360-902-2122

angus.brodie@dnr.wa.gov

 

Lisa Janicki

Board Member and Skagit County Commissioner

360-416-1300

lisaj@co.skagit.wa.us

Dan Brown

Board Member and Professor

University of Washington

206-685-1928

danbro@uw.edu

Chris Reykdal

Board Member and Superintendant

of Public Instruction

360-725-6000

chris.reykdal@k12.wa.us

Wendy Powers, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
Washington State University

509-335-3590

w.powers-schilling@wsu.edu

Jim Cahill

Board Member and Senior Budget

Assistant to Jay Inslee

360-902-0569

jim.cahill@ofm.wa.gov

Becky Kelley
Senior Policy Advisor to Jay Inslee
360-688-8149
becky.kelley@gov.wa.gov

Ruth Musgrave
Senior Policy Advisor to Jay Inslee
360-522-6031
ruth.musgrave@gov.wa.gov

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