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League of Women Voters
of Snohomish County
P.O. Box 1146
Everett WA 98206
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Mature Forest Protection in Snohomish County

Kate Lunceford | Published on 11/1/2023

We and our county government have come a long way in learning about protecting mature forests on public lands in Snohomish County. As a result, the County Council unanimously signed a letter to Commissioner of Public Lands (CPS) Franz asking for participation in the Natural Climate Solutions funding to protect some mature forests on public lands in our county.

The WA Legislature voted in 2023 to protect up to 2,000 acres of carbon-dense, structurally complex mature forests by buying NEW working forest land of equal value to replace revenue to beneficiaries. The funds are offered through the Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) element within the Climate Commitment Act. The catch? The county legislative authority must ask for participation in the funding. Your County Council has now made that request.

LWVSC and other Climate Alliance of Snohomish County members began meeting with county officials several months ago about nominating some of Snohomish County’s 6,000 acres of mature forests on public lands subject to logging in the near future.  County Executive Dave Somers wrote to CPL Franz in August asking for participation in the NCS funding. That helped the County Council take up the issue. We are grateful to Councilmember Jared Mead for convening a roundtable of stakeholders in September to hear about opportunities and concerns. Here’s a link to watch the roundtable discussion. League members and others came to the next meeting to give public testimony to clarify some of the issues. Here’s a link to hear our comments.  We are grateful for strategy from the Center for Responsible Forestry, and to Robert Riedl of our Mature Forest Protection group for research and wordsmithing.

The letter to SPL Franz does not suggest particular units of mature forests as we had hoped, but it is a beginning of further discussion on how to both protect mature forests, rural communities and trust land beneficiaries.

For a brief overview on mature forest protection please watch LWVWA’s webinar: Forests-Climate Solutions

Check out the one-hour monthly meetings at 10:00 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month. Find a link to the November 14 meeting on the LWVSC calendar, or contact Kate Lunceford

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