Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action in after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to the U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Wash. Forest Bill Would 'Empower' Local Communities

Play

Thursday, March 21, 2019   

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A bill in the Washington State Legislature could give communities more control over local forests.

Senate Bill 5873 would create a community forest pilot program to fund and monitor three projects in the state.

Max Webster, evergreen forest program manager for the Washington Environmental Council, says momentum for these projects has grown as communities have increasingly felt left out of management decisions.

He says as the risk from climate change and past management decisions that have increased wildfires become evident, rural Washingtonians want to have a say in what their future looks like.

"That just has brought up the need for empowering communities to be able to step up a little bit more and take ownership over some of these issues and address them in a way that works best for the long-term sustainability of their communities," he states.

Webster says a recent study found there are 20 community forest projects coming along across the state. The goal after the pilot is for the state to be able to support more projects.

SB 5873 has been approved by the Senate, but a hearing for the bill in the House has yet to be scheduled.

State Sen. Brad Hawkins of East Wenatchee says the goal of the pilot program is to prove that this model works. He says residents in his district requested this bill so that nearby forests could be managed for multiple uses, including recreation and the protection of natural resources.

Hawkins also notes that money raised in these forests would go back to those communities.

"To the extent that there is the responsible harvesting of trees for forest management and there's revenue derived from that, those revenues could go back in to help fund the ongoing operations of implementing the management plan that the locals develop," he states.

One project that has seen success is the Mt. Adams Community Forest.

Jay McLaughlin, executive director of Mt. Adams Resource Stewards, says the project began about 15 years ago while the region was losing jobs and its population.

McLaughlin says the community forest has provided an economic benefit for the area along with allowing locals to guide its management.

"It's been kind of a gap-filler for a lot of local companies that maybe can't sustain year-round work with the limited opportunities that are increasingly the case in their industry and so, here we can put together some pretty thoughtful and widely supported projects to go out there and do forest management activities," he stresses.


get more stories like this via email

Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …


There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021