Speak out against a bill that would transfer Washington’s public lands
Conservation Northwest / Feb 16, 2018 / Action Alert, Protecting Wildlands, State Forest Lands
WILD NW Action Alert #275: Contact state lawmakers and urge them to vote NO on SB 6140, a proposal that would open the door to selling off state forests.
February 21 Update: Public land transfer provisions removed from Senate Bill 6140
This is not a drill! We need your urgent action to protect Washington’s public lands from an attack in Olympia. Suggested comments are available below.
At the behest of the timber industry, a bill is moving through the Washington State Legislature that could force more logging and even transfer publicly-owned state lands to counties or private owners. This is no idle threat as the bill, Senate Bill 6140, has already passed the Senate.
This bill is up for a hearing on Tuesday, February 20th at 10:00 a.m. in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Our legislative leaders need to hear from us immediately!
Please use this link to contact your legislators as well as House leadership. Please also phone or email Senator Van De Wege to voice your concern.
This was a modest bill related to the state’s management of tidelands until Senator Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, amended Section 6 onto it, which would push the Department of Natural Resources to log more or else explore “Any alternative management focus, such as returning the lands to the counties for their management, leasing the lands to private timber investment management organizations, and transition of lands into higher revenue producing assets…”
That section, threatening the heist of public lands if they’re not logged to maximum economic production, would pertain to popular state forests across Washington, including such beloved areas as Blanchard Mountain, Tiger Mountain, Capitol Forest, Naneum Ridge, Green Mountain and Tahoma.
Hikers, bikers, wildlife watchers, hunters and anglers, and hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians enjoy these state forests each year. While we support sustainable forestry where appropriate, the provisions in Section 6 go much too far, putting the future of our state’s public forests at risk!
Please use this form to urge state lawmakers to put a stop to Section 6 of Senate Bill 6140. You can also comment directly on this bill here.
And please share this alert with all your networks right away! Transferring Washington state forests to counties or private interests would set a dangerous precedent for the future of our public lands.
Suggested comments on Senate Bill 6140
Dear elected leader,
As your constituent, I am writing to voice my strong opposition to Section 6 of Engrossed Senate Bill 6140, sponsored by Senators Van De Wege and Sheldon. Most concerning are provisions in this legislation that seek to transfer Washington’s state forests to counties or lease them exclusively to private logging companies.
Hikers, bikers, wildlife watchers, hunters and anglers, and hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians enjoy our state forests each year. State forests should be managed for their multiple values, including outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat and sustainable forestry. The provisions in Section 6 go much too far, putting the future of our state forests and public access to them at risk.
What’s more, transferring Washington state forests to counties or private interests would set a dangerous precedent for other public lands. These forests belong to all Washingtonians, and we must responsibly steward them for future use and enjoyment.
I urge you to reject Senate Bill 6140 as long as Section 6 is included within it. Thank you,