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Washington’s agricultural stakeholders voice concerns over NAFTA revamp discussions

Washington’s agricultural stakeholders voice concerns over NAFTA revamp discussions

Discussions to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) begin in one week, and Washington’s agricultural stakeholders are voicing concerns and offering suggestions...

Washington foresters: Hirst solution worth delay of wildfire-related projects

The failed passage of a capital budget during the legislative session could postpone many forest health restoration projects planned by the Washington Department of...

Lawmakers Skeptical They Can Agree On A Hirst Fix Before Session Ends

As the Washington state legislature enters the last day of its third special session, lawmakers are doubtful that a Hirst fix will be agreed...

Skagit Farmers Relieved Over Clarification of Swinomish Constitutional Amendments

Skagit Valley farmers are praising a recent letter sent by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) which clarified that amendments to a local...
Washington Forestland Needs Greater Mill Infrastructure, Says Wildfire Committee

Washington Forestland Needs Greater Mill Infrastructure, Says Wildfire Committee

Washington needs more lumber mills to restore millions of acres of forestland currently in poor health. It’s an argument made by conservationists and the...
State Prepares For “New Normal” Wildfire Season

State Prepares For “New Normal” Wildfire Season

This year’s wildfire season in Washington state has commenced on the heels of several interagency training academies hosted by the Washington Department of Natural...

Washington State Sweet Cherry Growers Expecting “Heavy Set” Harvest

It should be a bountiful sweet cherry harvest this year, according to recent estimates from the U.S. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). As cherry...
Washington Craft Breweries Flourish In The “Home Of The Hops”

Washington Craft Breweries Flourish In The “Home Of The Hops”

Washington craft brewers had more to celebrate last weekend than just the 12th annual Brewers Festival hosted by the Washington Beer Commission. Equally worthy...

Former EPA Regional Director Questioned On Controversial Agency-Funded Campaign, Regulatory Issues

Governor Jay Inslee’s appointee to the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) Leadership Council, Dennis McLerran, took a shellacking from Senate Republicans during a Wednesday, June...
Lens Video - DNR Wildfire Academyvideo

Lens Video – DNR Wildfire Academy

Lens presents its first video on the Washington Department of Natural Resources' wildfire training academy held last month in Yakima. Featured are interviews with...
A Look At Washington Wildfire Training

A Look At Washington Wildfire Training

While weather conditions such as wind and temperatures may determine the severity of this year’s wildfires season in Washington state, the outcome could also...
Federal Bill Aims to Energize Agricultural Exports

Federal Bill Aims to Energize Agricultural Exports

In hopes of bolstering American agricultural exports, two U.S. Congressmen this month introduced a bill that would increase market promotion and the ability to...
Governor’s Veto Derails Popular Short Line Rail Bill

Governor’s Veto Derails Popular Short Line Rail Bill

Governor Jay Inslee this week vetoed a bipartisan bill approved by the state legislature that would have loosened the state Growth Management Act’s (GMA)...
Lawmakers, Agriculture Community Express Concern Over Findings of Campaign Audit

Lawmakers, Agriculture Community Express Concern Over Findings of Campaign Audit

In the wake of a national audit of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded and Washington state-based "What's Upstream” campaign targeting the agriculture community, U.S. lawmakers and state...
New Law Enhances Access to Firefighting Equipment, Yet Resource Issues Persist

New Law Enhances Access to Firefighting Equipment, Yet Resource Issues Persist

Governor Jay Inslee has signed a bill allowing the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to donate older fire engines to rural fire districts...
How To Restore Washington Forests: Increase Timber Demand

How To Restore Washington Forests: Increase Timber Demand

One way to improve the wildfire resiliency of public forestland managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and United States Forest Service...
As Well Permit Woes Persist, Local Governments Navigate Challenging Waters

As Well Permit Woes Persist, Local Governments Navigate Challenging Waters

As both chambers of the Washington State Legislature fail to agree on an acceptable solution to the ongoing permit-exempt well use and rural development...
Restoring Washington State Forestland

Restoring Washington State Forestland

State lawmakers this week unanimously approved two bills directing the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to improve forestland health statewide as part...

Fight Over Snake River Dams Continues

Although prospects are bleak for a proposed Senate resolution calling on the federal government to protect the Lower Snake River Dams, the outlook for...
Senate Hirst Bill: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over

Senate Hirst Bill: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

The fight for a potential fix to Hirst isn't over quite yet. Despite SB 5239 failing to receive a vote before the Wednesday, March 29 cutoff for passing...
Creating a Balanced Wildfire Prevention Strategy

Creating a Balanced Wildfire Prevention Strategy

In a legislative session defined by political divisions over tax proposals and funding basic education, Washington state lawmakers have seemingly found agreement in one...
Opinions Still Clashing Over Hist Decision Bill

Opinions Still Clashing Over Hirst Decision Bill

A proposed legislative fix to the October 2016 Washington State Supreme Court "Hirst" ruling drew attention this week from state bankers, realtors, building sector businesses, and Native American tribe...
Uncovering Natural Resource Sector Career Paths

Uncovering Natural Resource Sector Job Opportunities

This week, the Washington State House Higher Education Committee passed a workforce study bill to better align the state's teachers with the workforce needs...
Addressing Paid Rest Breaks For Washington's Growers

Addressing Paid Rest Breaks For Washington’s Growers

Many Washington state growers have dealt with a string of lawsuits stemming from a 2015 Supreme Court ruling related to compensating piece-time workers for...
Senate Passes Forest Restoration Bill, Though Funding Still Uncertain

Senate Passes Forest Restoration Bill, Though Funding Still Uncertain

The Washington State Senate has unanimously approved SB 5546 directing the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to treat one million acres of state...
Washington Industries Appeal EPA State Water Quality Standards

Washington Industries Appeal EPA State Water Quality Standards

A group of Washington employers and associations are appealing a newly-adopted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule for water quality standards in favor of a...
Potential "Hirst" Fix Clears Washington State Senate

Potential “Hirst” Fix Clears Washington State Senate

After much debate and public testimony, the Washington State Senate passed E2SSB 5239 in an attempt to correct the negative economic impacts of the...
Addressing Environmental and Natural Resource Sector Worker Shortages

Addressing Environmental and Natural Resource Sector Worker Shortages

Washington state lawmakers are trying a new approach to fill jobs left open for the state's environmental sectors. SB 5285 would encourage better communication...
Addressing Stalled Development in Rural Washington

Addressing Stalled Development in Rural Washington

A bipartisan bill related to the Hirst Supreme Court decision cleared committee at the end of last week, which would work to restore residential...
Logging The Road To Rural Economic Recovery

Logging The Road To Rural Economic Recovery

For many Washington rural communities reliant on state land timber sales, catastrophic wildfire seasons can deliver an economic one-two punch: local homes and businesses...
Encouraging Wildfire Resilience On Small Private Forestland

Encouraging Wildfire Resilience On Small Private Forestland

As lawmakers look at ways to improve public forest health, they also want to reduce regulations that can impede similar efforts on small private...
Consensus Building On Forest Health Restoration

Consensus Building On Forest Health Restoration

As Washington prepares for the upcoming wildfire season, one of the challenges it faces is the roughly three million acres of forest land in...

Lawmakers Want Feds To Protect Lower Snake River Dams

Nine months after a U.S. District Court ruling demanded three federal agencies consider breaching four Lower Snake River dams to protect threatened salmon and...
Lawmakers Mull New Wildfire Reform Bill

Lawmakers Mull New Wildfire Reform Bill

During Washington wildfire season, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) uses seasonal agreements that let private contractors contribute manpower and equipment to prevent and fight...
Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Finding The Hidden Jobs Of The Future

Haven't you always wanted to work in sustainable forestry, or salmon restoration? How about a steady, working-wage job operating, maintaining and repairing machinery used...

Fish Or Well Water: The False Dichotomy

Three months after a Washington State Supreme Court ruling effectively halted rural development that is reliant on well water, the effort to safeguard property rights...

Planned Fires To Prevent Mega-Fires: You May See More Of That In Washington

Although the 2016 Washington wildfire season paled in comparison to the two years prior, experts warn an era of mega-fires is on the horizon,...
Washington State Senate Majority In Flux As Trump Administration Plucks Talent

Washington State Senate Majority In Flux As Trump Administration Plucks Talent

The Trump-induced brain drain is making things tricky for the Republican-led majority controlling the Washington State Senate, in a year when fiscal conservative principles...
Tax Incentives Could Help North Pacific Fishing Fleet Rebuilders Net A Big Catch

Tax Incentives Could Help North Pacific Fishing Fleet Rebuilders Net A Big Catch

The Seattle-based North Pacific fishing fleet is expected to get $1.6 billion in upgrades or rebuilding over the next decade, but in-state ship builders...
Lawmakers Look To Loosen Sales Restrictions For Craft Distilleries, Wineries

Lawmakers Look To Loosen Sales Restrictions For Craft Distilleries, Wineries

A bipartisan group of Washington state lawmakers is aiming to lessen barriers to sales growth for Washington's wine and spirits industry. Two new bills,...
Southwest Washington Seeks Foothold On Hard Road Back To Economic Health

Southwest Washington Seeks Foothold On Hard Road Back To Economic Health

In November, Jim Walsh became only the second Republican in the last 70 years to win a state legislative seat in Washington's 19th district....
Lower Snake River Dams At Storm's Eye

Lower Snake River Dams At Storm’s Eye

Three federal agencies are preparing a new environmental impact statement (EIS) intended to protect threatened salmon and steelhead, and it could result in a recommendation to breach, or decommission, the four...
Washington State Wary Of Trade Wars

Washington State Wary Of Trade Wars

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on staunch opposition to global trade expansion, threatening among other things tariffs of 45% on U.S. imports from China. Yet his emerging team of economic advisors is split between those favoring...
EPA Mandate On Washington State Water Quality Faces Possible Challenges

EPA Mandate On Washington State Water Quality Faces Possible Challenges

It would cost about $7.4 billion total for every city in the Puget Sound region to upgrade their wastewater treatment plants to the best available technology, according to a projection by...

Washington State Lawmakers To Take Aim At High Court’s Well Water Ruling

Washington state lawmakers are aiming to mitigate a State Supreme Court decision that effectively halts new construction in many rural counties in the state. The developments come after public outcry from...
Concerns Deepen On EPA's Campaign Targeting Washington State Agriculture

Concerns Deepen On EPA’s Campaign Targeting Washington State Agriculture

Months before it was under heavy fire and halted funding of a tribal consortium's "What’s Upstream" campaign targeting Washington agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knew...
Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Representatives of Washington cities, counties, schools and citizens groups packed a committee meeting room in Olympia this week to urge that lawmakers amend the...
EPA-Funded "What's Upstream" Campaign Hit With PDC Complaint By Farmers

EPA-Funded “What’s Upstream” Campaign Hit With PDC Complaint By Farmers

The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) this week began investigating allegations by farmers that a taxpayer-funded public education campaign called “What’s Upstream” engaged in...
Franz Shifts Message On State Timber Sales

Franz Shifts On State Timber Sales

In a debate hosted by the Association of Washington Business at Suncadia last week between the general election contestants for Washington Public Land Commissioner, Democrat...

Different Visions For Public Lands Chief

As head of the Washington state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Public Lands Commissioner oversees 2.1 million acres of forested state trust lands....
New Approach To Wildfires Brewing

New Approach To Wildfires Brewing

Despite a state of emergency declared in response to recent Washington wildfires, the season so far has been much kinder than the last two,...
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