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star wagon


Scheduled for Auction on August 27th

Please help us to protect these beautiful, rare legacy forests near Schneiders Prairie.

SIGN the Petition asking DNR to cancel this timber sale!

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Note:  Location shown on map is approximateSee sale map for exact location.

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This Douglas fir is well over four feet in diameter.  Large trees like this play a critical ecological role, offering niche habitats for wildlife, and storing large amounts of carbon.  Micro-habitat diversity has been demonstrated to increase with increasing tree diameter.  Bark structures such as bark pockets and bowls in the bark can support a diverse array of fungi, lichens, and invertebrates.


to STOP the

Starwagon Timber Sale

To Chair Franz and the Board of Natural Resources:

The undersigned urge you to cancel DNR's "Starwagon" timber sale, located in Capitol State Forest near Schneiders Prairie.

Almost all of the natural and old growth forests that once dominated the South Puget Sound lowland ecoregion have been logged. Lowland watersheds are now mostly industrial forestlands, and agricultural fields. It is important to protect the few remaining, natural "legacy" forests that are left. These forests are an important part of our natural heritage, and function as natural climate refugia, and ecological "lifeboats" for a wide variety of plant and wildlife species, and hundreds of lesser-known species of insects, lichens, bryophytes, mushrooms, and other fungi.

Natural legacy forests like those found in the "Starwagon" timber sale are different from other managed (or planted) forests in a number of ways.  The most obvious difference is that the trees are much larger than in managed forests.  Some of the dominant trees in this timber sale measure more than five feet in diameter and are over 200 feet tall. Because these forests were often selectively logged or "high-graded" in the early 1900's, and allowed to grow back on their own, they are also much more structurally and biologically diverse.

Walk through this forest, and you will find it contains multiple canopy layers, composed of a wide variety of trees of different sizes.  Gaps in the overstory canopy allow sunlight to reach the forest floor, creating a complex mosaic of different plant communities composed of a diverse array of small trees, shrubs, mushrooms, and wildflowers.  Standing dead trees and logs provide critical nesting habitat for small mammals, and countless other forms of life.
This forest provides learning opportunities for students, and is a popular recreational destinations for hunters, hikers, bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Older forests like this also absorb more carbon from the atmosphere per acre than any other forests in the world, thus slowing the rate of climate change.
There is no defense for logging our last remaining legacy forests.  DNR forest inventory records reveal that there are thousands of acres of plantation forests managed by DNR in Capitol State Forest that are currently available for harvest.  Plantation forests hold more than enough timber to satisfy overall sustainable harvest targets for the current planning decade, and fulfill DNR's current commitments to generate revenue for the county and its junior taxing districts.  There is no need to clearcut this forest.  To be clear, the recommendation by Commissioner of Public Lands and the Department of Natural Resources to approve this timber sale is a choice that is made by the Commissioner and DNR.  DNR is not fulfilling a mandate or following best available science by logging these rare, century-old forests.

We are not asking DNR to end logging on state forest lands.  We simply asking that you protect the last best remaining lowland legacy forests, which occupy less than ten percent of all state forest lands in the South Puget Sound region.  Please put a stop to the destruction of these irreplaceable forests and cancel the "Starwagon" sale.

This petition will be sent to the following people:

Hilary Franz

Commissioner of Public Lands


Scott Sargent

DNR South Puget Sound Region Manager

Audrey Mainwaring
Managing Forester

Todd Welker

Deputy Supervisor for State Uplands


Lisa Janicki

Board Member and Skagit County Commissioner


Dan Brown

Board Member and Professor

University of Washington


Chris Reykdal

Board Member and Superintendant

of Public Instruction


Wendy Powers, Ph.D.

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


Jim Cahill

Board Member and Senior Budget

Assistant to Jay Inslee


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