Timber Counties Deserve Fair Transition Away from DNR Dollars
Ending the DNR Mandate Could Decrease Forestry Jobs — But With Smart Planning, the Elimination of Logging’s Negative Impacts Could Actually Increase Jobs and Economic Vitality in Timber Counties Over the Long Term
Washington’s 29 “Timber Counties”
Asotin, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Ferry, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Yakima.
2014 DNR State Trust Land Distributions — From $265 million in total timber harvest revenues:
- $120 million for common school construction
- $14 million for Washington State University
- $3 million for the University of Washington
- $75 million for services in timber counties
Logging Dollars vs. Fishing (and Hunting) Dollars — Which brings more long-term benefit?
The Washington recreational fishing business brings approximately $1 Billion to our state economy in retail sales each year, according to Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas and the Washington Department of Fish and Game. This business is directly affected by the quality of fish habitat and the resultant numbers of fish returning for sportsmen to pursue.
Do logging companies have more of a right to their jobs than a fishing guide or an oysterman does to his?
- Logging causes many negative impacts in our rivers that threaten our salmon and steelhead runs, the destruction of quality spawning and rearing habitat due to intense “scour” events caused by unnaturally frequent and intense flooding events in our streams and rivers, etc.
- In other words, logging threatens thousands of citizens who enjoy family wage jobs in the $1 billion recreational fishing industry, including tackle shops, boat builders, bait shops, guide services, motels, hotels, restaurants, etc. etc.
- Logging causes many well known negative impacts in our estuaries and near shore shellfish industry operations, a multi-million dollar resource-dependent enterprise that employs 3,000-plus people statewide
- In relatively closed, near-shore ecosystems like Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and the San Juan Islands, shellfish industry owners and workers in clams, oysters, crabs, (geoducks), etc.) are seeing their livelihood threatened by a variety of problems – acidification, pollution, warm water temperatures, carbon pollution, etc. all of which trace back directly or indirectly many causes, including logging operations, river runoff, and the lower number and smaller size of trees available for carbon sequestration.
End the Mandate believes timber counties deserve time, money, and support for lost DNR trust land jobs
Beyond the propositions below, multiple strategies are being developed and solicited from the public and various organizations at present. Please contact End the DNR Mandate to participate.
To ease the transition for timber counties and the DNR:
- Timber counties and the DNR would prioritize preservation, outdoors recreation, eco-tourism, and education on the trust lands. and invest any profits from maintenance harvests into land rehabilitation projects, scientific research or buying new lands.
- Timber counties and the DNR would minimize loggers being laid off by employing them in the fields above.
- Timber counties, the DNR, and the state could provide educational preparation for loggers for the fields above.
- Timber counties, the DNR, and the state could explore developing a state sponsored but locally controlled set of environmental schools, training camps, etc. for young people on the various forests. The possibilities are enormous.
- Timber counties, the DNR, and the state could arrange agreements with private, federal, and tribal forestry companies to spread their log cutting needs to sawmills that cut/process a high percentage of DNR trust logs.
- As the forests grow healthier, fishing and hunting opportunities will improve — more robust guiding jobs will be available; and more hikers, skiers, etc. will bring money into local economies.
Timber counties receive millions of dollars from federal and state government
This page provides information about payments from the federal government and state government to Washington counties representing a share of the revenues received for the harvesting of timber on federal and state forest lands within each county and for the lost property tax revenues not collected from (federal) USFS and BLM lands.
It also provides links to information about the timber excise tax that counties can impose. See also the Forest Lands in Washington Counties page, where you will find information about federal and state timber lands in Washington, and the Washington State Association of Counties Timber Counties Program pages.
Benefits of the DNR School Construction Mandate for Timber Towns and Counties:
- Provides jobs for loggers and mill workers and associated industries and businesses
- Provides a portion of tax base and other benefits to timber towns and counties
- Provides jobs for DNR surveyors, crews, scientists, administrators, etc.
- DNR has done substantial forest and stream rehabilitation work over the years
- Brings some revenue to schools
- Maintain the strong, essential cultural traditions in these areas
NTI – Brief Presentation
- The DNR Mandate Is a Perfect Interdisciplinary, Common Core Topic Extraordinaire!
- Because it combines political, environmental, and educational issues in one big complicated, ethical stew!!!
- Read article, pen in hand, using whatever reading approaches you use – Talking to the Text, Readers Apprenticeship, etc.
- Explain the DNR Mandate: Function, Purpose, Pros and Cons
- Connections between the Nisqually and EndDNRMandate.org
Mashel River and Busy Wild Creek — Nisqually tribes, 400 steelhead, threatened by logging steep slopes adjacent
- Student advocacy — biomimikry! The power of the petition!