forest health

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Washington Senate has unanimously approved a wildfire prevention and forest health bill.

The legislation has several components. One creates a wildfire account into which the state would deposit $125 million each biennium. That would pay for programs that help to make communities and forested areas less susceptible to wildfires.

Courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington state lands officials say they’re planning to diversify the tools they use to fight wildfires from the air.

On Tuesday the Department of Natural Resources held a demonstration in the skies over Moses Lake of a 747 that’s retrofitted to drop water or retardant on fires.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has called for the legislature to support a bill that would provide a dedicated funding source for wildfire response and forest health work.

Franz says the bill would provide $125 million every biennium to fund new firefighters and aircraft and work to upgrade existing helicopters.

Franz Works To Engage WA Legislators On Wildfire Issues

Dec 27, 2020
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Covid-related aid and police reform will be two of the major issues before the Washington legislature when it convenes next month.

But newly-reelected Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz hopes legislators will also consider dedicating more funding for wildfire and forest health projects.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is in Spokane building support for her proposal to create a state fund for wildfire prevention and forest health projects.

Franz toured a parcel of private land near Riverside State Park this morning [Wednesday] where crews are thinning trees and removing debris.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Today on Inland Journal, two segments about the health of forests in our region.

Later, we’ll hear part of a session from a Western Governors Association workshop conducted Tuesday in Post Falls. It focused on improving the resilience of forests in the region.

But first, this week, Washington state Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz released a plan to create a dedicated fund to pay for forest health and wildfire prevention. She proposes a surcharge on property and casualty insurance premiums. Her office estimates the increased cost for the average household will be a little more than a dollar a month and raise about $63 million a year.

Inland Journal, March 15, 2019: Outdoor Burning

Mar 15, 2019
U.S. Forest Service

Friday on the Inland Journal podcast, as temperatures slowly warm back to the seasonal norms, people can start finally to think about spring. The time for outdoor burning is still at least a few weeks away here in our area, but in southern Idaho, regulators expect to allow farmers to torch their fields as early as this week. We’ll talk with Mark Boyle, the head of the Idaho state smoke management program, about field burning.

KOMO Television

 

The Washington Department of Natural Resources hopes the legislature will approve a larger budget for forest health and fire prevention.

The agency has put together its two-year budget wish list that will be presented to the governor and legislature in January.

Washington Lands Commissioner On Preparing For Wildfires

Nov 29, 2018
Washington Department of Natural Resources

For several days recently, the country’s eyes were glued to the wildfires burning in California as they destroyed thousands of homes and killed dozens of people. The fires ignited a national debate about the need to be more aggressive in managing forests to lower the risk of fire.

The catalysts in Washington were the wildfire seasons of 2014 and 2015. Hundreds of thousands of acres burned during hot, dry, windy summers in the eastern and central parts of the state.

Wa Department of Natural Resources

President Trump went on the record last week in criticizing California officials for what he said were bad forest management practices that contributed to the horrific fires in that state.

Washington state officials say they are making a point of focusing on forest health related to wildfire prevention.

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz says major efforts have been underway for about a year to focus on the fire threat posed to the forests of eastern Washington.

Hilary Franz

The spring floods in eastern Washington are just receding, but already wildfire season has begun. A brush fire pushed by strong winds burned nearly three thousand acres Sunday near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

This summer, crews in Washington and Idaho will work on forest restoration projects on state and federal lands. Some projects are aimed at lowering wildfire risk; others have different goals.

Washington Governor Signs Forest Health Bill

May 9, 2017
clark.wa.gov

Washington Governor Jay Inslee yesterday (Monday) signed into law two measures of interest to people in the northeastern part of the state. One deals with preventing wildfires, the other with preventing wolves from killing livestock.

Inland Journal, April 27, 2017

Apr 27, 2017

This week on the Inland Journal, thousands of boat owners in Washington and Idaho will have to take an extra step this year as they relicense their watercraft. For some it won’t be easy. Washington’s governor is in bill signing mode. We’ll tell you about a few of the state’s new laws. The head of the Public Broadcasting System stops in Spokane to talk about preserving federal funding for public broadcasting. And we’ll learn more about how so-called ‘adventure travel’ is changing to become more accessible to older travelers.

Inland Journal, April 6, 2017

Apr 6, 2017

Inland Journal for April 6, 2017

    ▪    We’ll talk with one environmental organization that is supporting efforts in Washington’s legislature to include logging as a way to reduce wildfire risk. It’s even cutting on its own land.
    ▪    We'll learn more Avista’s work to build a network of electric vehicle charging sites in the Inland Northwest.
    ▪    We'll talk with a St. Maries, Idaho man who helps weather forecasters keep an eye on flooding of the St. Joe River.
    ▪    Austin Jenkins from the Northwest News Network reports on a project that shows Washington legislative leaders aren’t eager to share their email messages with the public.
    ▪    Celebrating books and food Saturday in Pullman

loe.org

This week in Olympia, two forest health bills that we reported on two weeks ago continue to move along in the Washington legislature. What’s interesting is the public support those bills are receiving from conservation groups.

USA Today

With all this water in our region right now -- one of the wettest springs ever -- the chance of a wildfire starting and gaining traction somewhere is pretty remote. But the memories of the severe wildfire seasons of 2014 and 2015 — speaking of the power of Mother Nature — are still fresh in the minds of Washington elected leaders.

Last week, Governor Jay Inslee, Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz and a few others met with landowners like Bonnie Cobb a bit west of Spokane. They wanted to see the work these folks had done to keep their homes and property safe from wildfire.