By consensus at our Oct. 6 meeting, OCA has sent the following letter to the State Board of Natural Resources and Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz:
The Washington State Public Lands Commissioner has a legal obligation to investigate and consider all reasonable, foreseeable mitigation and adaptation measures related to climate change. The DNR has completed an assessment of climate-change-related risks and has acknowledged significant threats to forest, agricultural and aquatic resources, and is working on climate resilience strategies; however, DNR needs a clear directive from BNR to focus strongly on the challenges posed by the climate crisis.
We believe that if a market were created to reimburse the State and Local Taxing Districts for forest carbon sequestration at the Social Cost of Carbon and State-managed forests were managed for optimal sequestration over the next century, they would produce far more income and employment for timber communities and their taxing districts than the income and employment currently generated by timber harvests. That income would grow year after year and provide a stable financial anchor for our timber communities. Numerous additional benefits would flow from such management, including cleaner water, steadier stream flows, healthier populations of fish and wildlife, more recreational benefits, reduced fire danger, etc.