The Center for Responsible Forestry estimates there are about 27,000 acres of mature or legacy forests on public lands in Snohomish County. 6,000 acres are in the lowlands that are subject to logging in the near future by the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR). Our League has set an immediate objective to support our county in protecting these forests. We want to help the county find pathways to both protect forests and replace revenues going to rural communities or junior taxing districts or find replacement lands. We need them as allies. We will ask the county to join other jurisdictions like The Port of Allyn Commissioners, Thurston County Commissioners, Jefferson County Commissioners, and most recently Whatcom County Commissioners, in asking the DNR to preserve all mature forests in Snohomish County.
One key concern is the scheduled logging of a mature forest near Spada Lake. Hog Wild is a carbon-dense, structurally complex forest of 138 acres owned mostly by WA Parks & Recreation Commission. Washington State works hard to cut carbon emissions. If we log these carbon workhorses, we release that carbon and backslide on our climate goals. This forest, in the Sultan River Canyon watershed, is a critical component of a future Sultan Watershed Conservation Area. We want to advocate for delaying the Hog Wild timber sale
, and it is a great candidate for nomination as a part of the Trust Land Transfer.
There are many Priority Sales
planned through 2024 in Snohomish County. We will visit each of these forests on the list over the next several months to evaluate their complexity. We will scramble off trail to take pictures, measure trees, survey the size and types of trees and other flora and fauna. These trips will help tell the story of each forest. We are following a model used by the Thurston County Commissioners
who have achieved success in removing an important forest from the list, at least for now.
The Washington State League of Women Voters approved a Resolution to Protect Mature Forests
, proposed by advocates in our own league, at the May 2023 biennial Convention to protect all carbon-dense, structurally complex mature forests on public lands in Washington State. Our League will work with LWVWA and invite other local Leagues to begin this advocacy as well.
If you are interested in learning more, join our next meeting. Find the link on the LWVSC calendar
. Please contact Kate Lunceford so you can help lobby the county or learn to do field checks.