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Washington Lands Commissioner Releases New Climate Resilience Plan

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has unveiled a Plan for Climate Resilience for the state.

Franz’s plan proposes a range of ways Washington can protect itself from the effects of climate change. That includes a strategy Franz has been vocal about: using timber harvests and controlled burns on state forest lands to prevent the frequency and intensity of wildfire.

“We have at least three communities in Washington state that are at worse wildfire risk than Paradise, California, as a result of a recent national study. And then we have many communities on top of that may not be as worst as Paradise, California, but are close," she said in an interview with Spokane Public Radio on Wednesday. "We have 2.2 million homes in Washington state at wildfire risk.”

Franz proposes planting more trees in towns and cities as a way to lower temperatures in urban areas and soak up stormwater. She also proposes using state land for renewable energy projects to help lower carbon emissions and increase revenue for the state.

She says her agency, the Department of Natural Resources, will hold meetings around the state to discuss the plan and how to implement it.