The Washington Department of Natural Resources deserves praise for the agency’s thoughtful planning and management of working forests in the Reiter Foothills area. DNR’s trust land managers understand it is possible to provide quality outdoor recreation and honor tribal treaty rights, while sustainably harvesting timber to support jobs and public services that are important to the community.
Recent approval of the Middle May timber sale is expected to provide over $2.7 million in much-needed funding to the Sultan School District and other beneficiaries of local state trust lands, including fire departments, libraries and hospitals.
Prior to the “Wild Wallace” park campaign, the DNR already developed a recreation plan incorporating input from hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and others to support a diversity of recreation within these working forests for all people.
Forest management on DNR-managed trust lands support community members who plant, harvest, transport and manufacture essential forest products. Wood from these lands will also support the Darrington Wood Innovation Center that is developing the next generation of advanced, climate-friendly building materials. This has the potential to support Snohomish County affordable-housing initiatives.
Sustainable ecosystem management is not at odds with the DNR’s constitutional obligation to harvest timber on behalf of local schools and other community agencies. Once again, we thank the Department and the Board of Natural Resources for maintaining these working forests so they can continue to provide a multitude of benefits — including recreation — well into the future.