Seven Vie For Public Lands Boss, The Hottest Race You've Never Watched

Seven Vie For Public Lands Boss, The Hottest Race You’ve Never Watched

Who would have thought one of the hottest 2016 statewide races in Washington would be for Public Lands Commissioner? The heat may emanate partly...
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...
People preparing to hike up Mount Rainier

Stakeholders say tourism bill needs another lead authority

Tourism agency representatives are finding fault with the lead agency listed in a House bill that would establish a statewide agency for managing tourism...
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...
Fighting fire with fire

Fighting fire with fire

Washington experienced yet another weekend surge of new wildfires that continue to blanket large portions of the state in wildfire smoke. In central Washington,...
Cross-laminated timber as forest-management strategy

Cross-laminated timber as forest-management strategy

The state legislature earlier this year called on the Washington State Building Code Council (WSBCC) to adopt rules for cross-laminated timber (CLT) use when...
DNR “spread thin”, calls for robust funding

DNR “spread thin”, calls for robust funding

After another intense wildfire season that involved flames on both sides of the Cascades and poor air quality statewide, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary...
old water well

Hirst bill kicks off session water use talks

As legislators embark on the 2018 session, one of the first committee meetings saw introduction of a proposal to address negative effects stemming from...
A Fishy Standard For Washington State Water Quality, But It Could Be Even Worse

A Fishy Standard For Washington State Water Quality, But It Could Be Even Worse

The Washington Department of Ecology last week approved new state fish consumption and water quality standards that critics say are too onerous and based on...
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....

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...
Windmill in plains

Utility regulatory change could add flexibility

Utility stakeholders and lawmakers are throwing their support behind a proposal which would allow additional regulatory options for electrical and natural gas companies. Proponents...
Here's A Fish Story With A Twist

A Fish Story With A Twist

The Department of Ecology is working on a new proposed rule for water quality standards intended to protect eaters of locally caught fish. While...
Wildfires hit Washington communities

Wildfires hit Washington communities

In less than a month, two wildfires have threatened a small Central Washington community and prompted level three evacuations for all residents as 250...
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...
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...
State-Tribes Dispute Shuts Down Puget Sound Salmon Fishing Season, For Now

State-Tribes Dispute Shuts Down Puget Sound Salmon Fishing Season, For Now

The recreational salmon fishing season in Puget Sound could be grounded this year. For the first time in 32 years the Washington Department of...
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...
Congress may decide fate of the lower Snake River dams

Congress may decide fate of the lower Snake River dams

A U.S. House resolution backed by three Washington Republican lawmakers protecting the lower Snake River dams from breaching to improve endangered salmon species populations...
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...
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...
Critics: Cancer Risk Rates Out Of Whack In Washington Fish Consumption Rule-Making

Critics: Cancer Risk Rates Out Of Whack In Washington Fish Consumption Rule-Making

The Washington Department of Ecology’s draft rule on water quality standards related to human health sets unrealistically stringent cancer risk rate protections geared to...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Nearly half a billion spent fighting Washington wildfires since 2010

Nearly half a billion spent fighting Washington wildfires since 2010

Between 2010-2016, the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Office of the State Fire Marshall spent nearly half a billion responding to...
A Full Plate For Washington Agriculture: Labor Needs, Visa And Immigration Reform

A Full Plate For Washington Agriculture: Labor Needs, Visa And Immigration Reform

The national trend in agriculture is an unsettling one, and hits close to home in Washington state. Despite growing demand for output, there are...
Washington’s firefighters face flames near and far

Washington’s firefighters face flames near and far

Washington firefighters in the past week were able to successfully combat several wildfires, including one that threatened the small community of Vantage near the...
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...
Supreme Court sides with tribes in culvert ruling

Supreme Court sides with tribes in culvert ruling

In a split decision, the United States Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling ordering Washington state to remove fish barriers that local...
High stakes in fish barrier ruling

High stakes in fish barrier ruling

Under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court is a case between Washington state and Native American tribes concerning treaty fishing rights and the removal...
Combine Harvesting Wheat

Washington wheat growers weigh in on NAFTA, South Korean trade agreement

As North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations continue, the Washington wheat industry is sharing its concerns and hopes for a revamped contract. The...
Wildfires lead to hazardous air conditions

Wildfires lead to hazardous air conditions

Washington’s wildfire season has ramped up with lighting strikes, hot temperatures and significant drought causing dozens of fires over the weekend. The conditions have...
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)...
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...

Washington’s agricultural industry weighs in on second round of NAFTA reworks

As the second round of discussions regarding changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) wrap up this week, U.S. and Washington representatives...
Snoqualmie Falls shot

Tourism bill garners strong support

House lawmakers on Feb. 20 heard public comment on a bill which would establish a statewide tourism agency that proponents say would fill the...
Washington wildfire season intensifies

Washington wildfire season intensifies

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has responded to nearly 900 wildfires so far this season. Already, that is more than the total...
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,...
Washington Braces For Wildfire Season

Washington Braces For Wildfire Season

Another wildfire season is coming to Washington state and $278 million in costs the last two summers add weight to inevitable concerns. How bad...
Wildfires Can Also Scorch Tourism, But Washington Communities Are Battling Back

Wildfires Can Also Scorch Tourism, But Washington Communities Are Battling Back

Damage to homes and communities from Washington wildfires in 2014 and 2015 has been dramatic. Along with rebuilding lives and buildings, reclaiming scorched land,...
Lower temps cool wildfire season

Lower temps cool wildfire season

After weeks of hot temperatures and statewide smoke cover, decreasing temperatures and recent rainfall indicate the worst of this year’s wildfire season is over....
Salmon Fishing Season Delay Takes An Economic Toll In Puget Sound Region

Salmon Fishing Season Delay Takes An Economic Toll In Puget Sound Region

Puget Sound’s recreational salmon fishing season is expected to open at the end of this week, after a nearly two-month delay caused by a...
Foresters Like Proposed Wildfire Reforms

Foresters Like Proposed Wildfire Reforms

So far, a Senate wildfire reform bill has found positive response among private forest landowners. Maybe because it’s not so much different from what they...
Apples in barrels at an orchard

Washington apple growers may regain Indonesia trade access

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer this month reaffirmed that Indonesian import licensing regulations for horticultural and animal products violated World Trade Organization (WTO)...

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...
Top of Granite Mountain

Tourism bill draws strong support

Washington is the only state in the country without a dedicated statewide tourism agency – and this has been the case since 2011. To address...
Mount Rainier

Bolstering Washington tourism

Washington state is reenergizing its statewide tourism efforts with the approval of a statewide tourism agency in March, however it has a way to...
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...

Forest management of Suncadia resort pays dividends during Jolly Mountain Fire

The Jolly Mountain Fire near Roslyn and Cle Elum is one of many ongoing wildfires ravaging central and eastern Washington. So far, the lightning-caused...

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