The League of Women Voters of Washington finds that all benefits of the forests—ecological, human and economic—are inextricably interconnected. Healthy forests are essential to habitat for a diversity of plant and animal life, to the hydrologic cycle, and to carbon storage to mitigate global warming. In addition, healthy forests are essential to a forest products industry with the jobs and goods they provide, and to the economic and aesthetic values of their recreational opportunities.
The League supports laws and policies to insure that forest management (for timber extraction, recreation or any other activity) are carried out in a manner that will sustain healthy forests, streams and habitats.
League priority bills are in bold below.
|House Bills||House||Senate||After Passage|
|Bill #||Bill Name (Brief Title)||League Position||Take Action||In Committee||On Floor Calendar||Passed||In Committee||On Floor Calendar||Passed||Passed Legislature||On Governor's Desk||Signed|
|HB 1661||Conserving and restoring kelp forests and eelgrass meadows in Washington state||Supports||x
|Adding a new section to the Washington state Constitution regarding the conservation and protection of the state’s natural resources||Supports
These weekly updates will provide you with a "deep dive" into the progress of each bill, along with more analysis of the potential impact of the bill if it should pass.
HB 1103 Buy Clean Buy Fair. Improving environmental and social outcomes with the production of building materials. Requires firms selected for large construction or building renovation contracts to provide an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and labor data for at least 90 percent of the weight of covered materials used in the project (primary reporting requirements).
HB 1661/SB 5619 (DNR Request). Conserving and restoring kelp forests and eelgrass meadows in Washington state. The Department of Natural Resources shall work with partners to establish a kelp forest and eelgrass meadow health and conservation plan that endeavors to, by the year 2040, conserve and restore at least 10,000 acres of kelp forests and eelgrass meadows.
HJR 4209 Amends the state Constitution to provide that the people of the state have the right to a clean and healthy environment, that the state shall serve as trustee of the natural resources of the state, and that the state shall equitably protect these rights for all people. The rights stated in this section are inherent, inalienable, and indefeasible, are among those rights reserved to all the people, and are on par with other protected inalienable rights.
HB XXXX/SB 5633 (DNR request, House bill number unknown at this time). Keep Washington Evergreen aims to conserve at least one million acres of working forests, and reforest at least one million acres, including in burn scared and urban communities with disproportionately small amounts of tree cover, by 2040. This legislation calls for environmental and economic analyses to determine our highest value forests, and establishes an advisory council to develop a plan to reach the goals of the initiative.
SB 5637 Increasing forest practices fees to pay for program implementation costs and a new online system for forest practices review. The Department of Natural Resources manages an information system that allows for public review of proposed forest practices and that the system is in need of an upgrade and maintenance. It is the intent of the legislature to have landowners who submit forest applications and notifications to share in covering the cost of the upgrade, as well as provide revenue to support the ongoing maintenance of the new forest practices online review system through increased fees.
SB 5721 Consolidating management of natural resources under the Commissioner of Public Lands by having the commissioner appoint the directors of the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the State Parks and Recreation Commission would create an efficient decision-making structure and provide for public accountability. The legislature further finds that having the Commissioner of Public Lands appoint the members of the Fish and Wildlife advisory commission and the State Parks and Recreation advisory committee and having the commission and committee serve in an advisory role to the directors of the relevant agencies would maintain strong public input into natural resource management issues while establishing a centralized and accountable structure for securing, managing, and enhancing the state's natural resources.
SJR 8210 Amends the state Constitution to provide that the people of the state have the right to a clean and healthy environment, that the state shall serve as trustee of the natural resources of the state, and that the state shall equitably protect these rights for all people. The rights stated in this section are inherent, inalienable, and indefeasible, are among those rights reserved to all the people, and are on par with other protected inalienable rights.