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...
Supporting initial wildfire attacks

Supporting initial wildfire attacks

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) managed last year to keep more than 90 percent of wildfires to 10 acres or less. Several...
Private-public partnership for fish barrier removal

Private-public partnership for fish barrier removal

While state lawmakers contemplate various proposals to fund the removal of fish barriers on public land managed by the Washington State Department of Transportation...
Another possible win for mass timber

Another possible win for mass timber

Now that the Washington State Building Code Council and International Code Council (ICC) have incorporated advances in cross-laminated timber (CLT) technology, a bipartisan group...
gas pump

Low Carbon Fuel Standard wrong for Washington: Costly, unworkable fuel policy

As part of his proposed 2019 climate agenda, the Governor wants the Legislature to take another run at imposing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard...
Bill proposes wildfire containment strategy

Bill proposes wildfire containment strategy

A major challenge for state, federal and local fire crews responding to a wildfire can be locating a safe position to operate from, something...
Can growth and farming coexist?

Can growth and farming coexist?

As Washington state’s population grows, agricultural industry advocates say that farmers need more flexibility with their land designated for farming under the Growth Management...
Promises still unmet for small forestland owners

Promises still unmet for small forestland owners

Two decades after the state legislature passed the Forests and Fish Law to protect fish habitat, it is still unclear to what extent the...
Casting for fish barrier removal funds

Casting for fish barrier removal funds

Now that the legislature has satisfied the State Supreme Court’s McCleary order, it now faces another court order to remove hundreds of fish barriers...
The future of clean energy

The future of clean energy

As the state legislature examines proposals to eventually make Washington’s electricity 100 percent clean, they’re also taking a good look at emerging technology that...
Some express reservations as clean energy proposal advances

Some express reservations as clean energy proposal advances

A legislative proposal to put Washington state on the path to 100 percent clean energy by 2045 this week cleared the Senate Environment, Energy...
Re-growing small working forestland

Re-growing small working forestland

In the 20 years since the Forests and Fish Law was passed, Washington’s small forestland owners have struggled to handle the new regulations regarding...
Can rangeland associations help fight wildfires?

Can rangeland associations help fight wildfires?

As stakeholders across Washington state continue to examine new ways to improve wildfire responses, state lawmakers have introduced HB 1188 which would enable private...
What’s killing Southern Resident whales

What’s killing Southern Resident whales

There’s little debate that an insufficient lack of salmon is harming the Southern Resident killer whale population, evinced by proposals to ramp up hatchery...
Apple picking

Ag stakeholders: Farm bill a win for WA

Representatives from Washington’s ag community and U.S. lawmakers say the recently passed farm bill is important for providing certainty for the state’s farmers and...
readthedirt.org

Lawmaker: DNR proposal “Spotted Owl 2.0”

A proposal by the state Department of Natural Resources could “lay off” thousands of acres of working forests in western Washington as part of...
Inslee announces new energy proposals

Inslee announces new energy proposals

After Washington voters overwhelming rejected a carbon tax proposal under Initiative 1631 in November, Governor Jay Inslee is once more turning to the state...
Cleansing fire: Restoring Washington’s forestland

Cleansing fire: Restoring Washington’s forestland

In 2016, the Washington state legislature directed the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conduct a prescribed burn pilot project to explore the...
Taking mass timber mainstream

Taking mass timber mainstream

The Washington State Building Code Council took a major step last week toward broader use of cross-laminated timber (CLT), or “mass timber, in building...

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