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...

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...

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...
Trial by fire: State prepares for wildfire season

Trial by fire: State prepares for wildfire season

In recent years, prescribed burning has regained popularity as a one way for state and federal agencies to restore the millions of acres of...
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...

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....
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)...
Breakthrough coming for forest health efforts?

Breakthrough coming for forest health efforts?

As parts of California are being consumed by what has become the state’s worst wildfire season, Washington state lawmakers and private and public stakeholders...
First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

Earlier this year state lawmakers and Governor Jay Inslee approved a law addressing rural growth restrictions imposed by the State Supreme Court’s 2016 Hirst...
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...

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...
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...
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’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...
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...
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...
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...
For EPA, Blowback On "What's Upstream?" Carries A Familiar Refrain

For EPA, Blowback On “What’s Upstream?” Carries A Familiar Refrain

The blowback toward the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Region 10 northwest office is growing, because EPA grant money was used in...
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...
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...
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,...
Washington River

House Hirst bill may provide needed clarification

State lawmakers are hearing from building industry representatives and other stakeholders on a bill which aims to address the ongoing implications of the 2016...
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...
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,...
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...
prescribed-burn-resources

“Burn bosses” would turn up the heat

It’s an idea befitting a scene in a sequel to Planes: Fire & Rescue – a program to train prescribed burn project managers, a.k.a:...
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...
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...
Puget Sound Fishing Dispute May Be Settled For Now, But Concerns Linger

Puget Sound Fishing Dispute May Be Settled For Now, But Concerns Linger

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and local tribal leaders have reached an agreement on how they will share the salmon harvest...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Weed-Like Growth for Washington's Cannabis Industry

Weed-Like Growth for Washington’s Cannabis Industry

The recreational pot industry in Washington State is growing fast. It's expected to hit the one billion dollar-mark in sales for the 2016 fiscal...
Fish and Wildlife pause on fee hikes

Fish and Wildlife pause on fee hikes

Fear of backlash by outdoor recreational enthusiasts forced to pay higher fishing and hunting fees led the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to pause...
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...
The cost of fish barrier removal

The cost of fish barrier removal

A U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year upheld a lower court ruling ordering Washington state to remove hundreds of fish barriers that inhibit...
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...

WWU study highlights economic benefits of agribusiness in Whatcom County

As a recent Western Washington University (WWU) study highlights the benefits of agriculture to Whatcom County businesses, one of the study’s authors as well...
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...

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...
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...

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