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...
Foresters weigh in on fish barrier removal

Foresters weigh in on fish barrier removal

A recent split decision by the U.S. Supreme Court calls on Washington state to remove thousands of fish barriers impeding salmon passage by 2030. Forest landowners say...
Task force recommends dam removal study

Task force recommends dam removal study

The state Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force created by Governor Jay Inslee has released a list of 36 recommendations on how to aid...
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...
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...
Whale task force may punt on dams

Whale task force may punt on dams

The Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force created by Governor Jay Inslee has released a draft report of recommendations on how to aid...

Wildfire smoke hasn’t tainted this year’s grape harvest – yet

Washington wine lovers will be pleased to know that the wildfire smoke inundating the skies and reducing air quality over much of the state...
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...
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...

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...
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...
Well in a garden

Hirst fix update: Water bill becomes law

After 18 months of stakeholder meetings and debate, the Washington State Legislature passed and Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill to address...

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...
State, Not EPA, Should Fine-Tune Fish Consumption Rule, Say Cities, Industry

State, Not EPA, Should Fine-Tune Fish Consumption Rule, Say Cities, Industry

Coming Soon: Lens looks into the "What’s Upstream" EPA lobbying controversy involving EPA funding of a Washington state lobbying campaign on water quality, targeting...
Breakthrough coming for forest health efforts?

New wildfire strategies paying off

In recent years, Washington’s firefighting agencies have worked to improve the initial response to wildfires as part of an overall strategy toward reducing the...
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,...
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...
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,...

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....
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...
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...
Northwest dairy shares its unique stake in NAFTA

Northwest dairy shares its unique stake in NAFTA

As the U.S., Canada and Mexico prepare to enter the third round of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) discussions at the end...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Sometimes To Prevent Fires, You Have To Set Fires: Lawmakers Mull DNR Reforms

Sometimes To Prevent Fires, You Have To Set Fires: Lawmakers Mull DNR Reforms

After two years of record-setting wildfires and pending lawsuits against the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for alleged negligence, state lawmakers are looking to...
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,...
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...
Wildfires in “no man’s land”

Wildfires in “no man’s land”

Outside the jurisdiction of Washington’s 417 fire departments and fire stations are regions of the state known as “no man’s land”; territory where no...
Will higher rec fees fly?

Will higher rec fees fly?

A proposal by the Fish and Wildlife Commission would raise recreational fees for activities such as fishing and hunting by 15 percent to help...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Enhanced weather technology proves useful in fighting wildfires

Enhanced weather technology proves useful in fighting wildfires

As this year’s relatively mild wildfire season tapers down, state lawmakers and Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials may consider the benefits of...

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...
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...

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...
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...
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...
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...
Senate Ups Ante On Combating Forest Fires

Senate Ups Ante On Combating Forest Fires

Washington’s private forest landowners want healthier federal forest lands to help confront the growing severity of wildfire seasons. A quarter of the 8.1 million...
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...
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...
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....
State's Working Forests Need Protection

State’s Working Forests Need Protection

One priority for private forest landowners is improved communications with the state and closer teamwork across all jurisdictions to control the growing severity of...
More Logging In Washington State Could Help Restore Forest Health, Say Experts

More Logging In Washington State Could Help Restore Forest Health, Say Experts

Increased timber harvesting is one way the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and United States Forest Service might improve forest health after two...
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...
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...

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