New analysis on lower Snake River dams

New analysis on lower Snake River dams

As efforts continue in favor of breaching the lower Snake River dams to aid salmon and Southern Resident Killer whale recovery, NOAA Fisheries –...
Dealing with Washington’s drought

Dealing with Washington’s drought

A drought was announced in Washington state in April, with 27 watersheds now included in the declaration. Although this hasn’t negatively affected some agricultural...

Rain tempers wildfire season

Unusually high amount of rainfall in eastern Washington in the first part of August has helped keep this year’s wildfire season mild – even...
Division between stakeholders over fish habitat buffers

Division between stakeholders over fish habitat buffers

Washington forestland owners, environmentalists and tribes are divided over the shape, content and timeline of a proposed state rule defining what constitutes a fish...
Are local and county culverts in legal danger?

Are local and county culverts in legal danger?

As state lawmakers consider ways to generate the money needed to replace hundreds of fish barriers on roads managed by the Washington State Department...
Will new clean energy policy work?

Will new clean energy policy work?

This legislative session state lawmakers approved SB 5116 sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-36) that puts Washington on a path to 100 percent clean...
Wildfire strikes unhealthy forestland

Wildfire strikes near unhealthy forestland

The month of August has begun with an escalation of Washington’s wildfire season. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and tribal resources...
Hunt continues for Fish and Wildlife funding

Hunt continues for Fish and Wildlife funding

During this year’s legislative session, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) requested $31 million to help plug a hole in its operating...
Aerial attack helps check wildfire

Aerial attack helps check wildfire

As the intensity of this year’s wildfire season tapers, aerial attacks by state and federal agencies were able to check a fire that broke...
Long struggle ahead over water standards

Long struggle ahead over water standards

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administer Andrew Wheeler last week signed a proposed rule repealing its water quality standards and restoring less stringent...
The big fix on fish barrier removal

The big fix on fish barrier removal

Washington state lawmakers will have to come up with $3 billion in additional funding for more than 900 fish barrier removal projects if they’re...
“Cosmic Crisp” bred for Washington growers

“Cosmic Crisp” bred for Washington growers

After more than two decades of development in collaboration with the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Washington producers plan to...
Forecast: Wildfires could come to westside

Forecast: Wildfires could come to westside

After a brief respite from wildfire activity earlier this month, new grassland fires have broken out across the state and more than doubled the...
“Treading water” in no man’s land

“Treading water” in no man’s land

The state Wildland Fire Advisory Committee plans to recommend steps the state legislature can take to address areas in Washington not protected by any...
Washington enjoys lull in wildfire season

Washington enjoys lull in wildfire season

At this time last year state, federal and local agencies were battling wildfires that forced the evacuation of rural central Washington communities and temporarily...
Improving Washington’s drought response

Improving Washington’s drought response

As the state Department of Ecology has declared a water drought in nearly half all Washington’s watersheds, a joint committee may make recommendations to...
Hydropower project “new frontier” for clean energy

Hydropower project “new frontier” for clean energy

A Senate bill approved this session by state lawmakers will require Washington state utilities to provide carbon-neutral energy by 2035 and to achieve100 percent...
Protecting “no man’s land”

Protecting “no man’s land”

In recent years, the state Wildland Fire Advisory Committee has offered recommendations on how to improve initial responses to state wildfires. Now, the 14-member...
State sues EPA over water quality standard

State sues EPA over water quality standards

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for repealing water quality standards that overrode those...
Fish barriers the new ‘McCleary’ for lawmakers

Fish barriers the new ‘McCleary’ for lawmakers

For several years the 2012 state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision regarding the legislature’s legal obligation to fund basic education dominated the legislative sessions as...
Another look at rangeland associations

Stakeholders weigh in on rangeland associations

Earlier this year Washington state lawmakers considered HB 1188 sponsored by Rep. Tom Dent (R-13) that would allow the creation of rangeland fire protection...
Utilities in support of lower Snake River dams

Utilities in support of lower Snake River dams

This legislative session, Washington lawmakers approved a bill calling for the state to achieve 100 percent clean energy, while at the time authorizing a...
Grant County wildfire prompts evac

Grant County wildfire prompts evac

Washington state’s first major wildfire of the season has broken out in Grant County grassland area near the Columbia Basin in central Washington, prompting...

The growing market for mass timber

In recent years, significant state legislation and building code changes have occurred related to cross-laminated timber (CLT) – also known as mass timber –...
person walking in dirt

The challenge to Washington family farms

There are roughly 35,700 farms in Washington state, according to 2017 census data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That figure represents the loss...

Bracing for statewide wildfire season

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is preparing for what could be a severe wildfire season on both sides of the Cascades. While...
How timber sales can pay for forest health work

How timber sales can pay for forest health work

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages 2.1 million acres of working forests located on state trust land with a legal mandate to...
EPA reverses water quality rule

EPA reverses water quality rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reversed its 2017 decision to override a water quality rule adopted by the Washington Department of Ecology with...
EPA to reverse state fish consumption rule?

EPA to reconsider state fish consumption rule?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) two years ago overrode a new water quality rule adopted by the Washington Department of Ecology with its own...
The future of Washington’s small forestland

The future of Washington’s small forestland

A new study authorized by the state legislature will determine how much small forestland remains in Washington state, along with ways to encourage the...
Ensuring a future for small forestland

Ensuring a future for small forestland

Washington state lawmakers this session approved ESSB 5330 directing the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences to look at the economic...
Funding for Fish and Wildlife comes up short

Funding for Fish and Wildlife comes up short

Despite a revenue surplus of $4.4 billion for the 2019-21 biennium – and a $7.7 billion spending increase in the operating budget – the...
New tax to pay for wildfires?

New tax to pay for wildfires?

Since 2009, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has spent more than $700 million fighting wildfires. Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-24) and...
Unanimous support for forestland bill

Unanimous support for forestland bill

A bill to study the economic health of Washington small forestland owners has cleared the legislature with unanimous support. ESSB 5330 sponsored by Sen....
Senate approves House wildfire bill

Senate approves House wildfire bill

A bill directing the state Department of Natural Resources to conduct forest health projects that also benefit wildfire suppression efforts was approved by the...
Senate approves House timber bill

Senate approves House timber bill

The Washington Senate on April 16 voted 47-1 in favor of a bill intended to boost the timber industry in rural counties with higher...
Senate approves chemical ban

Senate approves chemical ban

The Washington Senate voted 35-13 on April 15 in favor of ESSHB 1112 to gradually phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in refrigeration products...
Worker fee removed from H-2A bill

Worker fee removed from H-2A bill

A Senate proposal to address the growing number of workers under the federal H-2A temporary agricultural visa program in Washington state received unanimous support...
House approves clean energy bill

House approves clean energy bill

House lawmakers on April 11 approved a Senate bill intended to wean Washington state off electricity produced by carbon. However, despite numerous revisions and...
Gov signs working forest bill

Gov signs working forest bill

Governor Jay Inslee has signed HB 1011 into law notifying buyers that a piece of property is located next to a working forest. The...

Local collaboration boosts progress on water management

After years of discussion over water rights, in-stream flow rules, the infamous Hirst decision and many other points of contention, there is reason to...
Negotiations continue on clean energy bill

Negotiations continue on clean energy bill

A Senate proposal to put Washington state on the path toward 100 percent clean energy is advancing through the House after clearing the Committee...
Assessing “no man’s land”

Assessing “no man’s land”

An ongoing challenge for state and local firefighters is what’s known as “no man’s land”: areas that do not fall under a fire jurisdiction...
Unanimous Senate vote on agricultural hemp

Unanimous Senate vote on agricultural hemp

Early last week, Senate lawmakers voted unanimously on ESSSB 5276 legalizing agricultural hemp production. If approved by the House and signed by Governor Jay...
Linking forest health projects with wildfires

Linking forest health projects with wildfires

In a unanimous 96-0 vote, the state House voted Mar. 13 in favor of SSHB 1784, which advocates say would create stronger links between...
LCFS proposal advances from House

LCFS proposal advances from House

After a lengthy debate on Mar. 12 that included over half a dozen amendments added to the bill, state House lawmakers voted 53-43 in...
Are lawmakers reviving I-1631?

Are lawmakers reviving I-1631?

Last November voters turned down Initiative 1631, which would have created a $15 per-metric-ton carbon tax and an oversight board composed primarily of governor-appointees...
State farmers could take hit on chemical ban

State farmers could take hit on chemical ban

The state House has successfully passed ESSHB 1112 in a 55-39 vote to gradually phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in products such as...
Can Washington maintain affordable energy?

Can Washington maintain affordable energy?

The same day Governor Jay Inslee announced his bid for the presidency on the Democrat ticket, the state Senate in a 28-19 vote passed...
LCFS: “Bad news all around”

LCFS: “Bad news all around”

A proposal to create a low carbon fuel standard program (LCFS) in Washington state has cleared the House Appropriations Committee and could soon land...

Trade war piles up casualties in Washington

Although President Donald Trump announced an extension of the Mar. 1 deadline for the ceasefire in tariff increases between the US and China, Washington...

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