Dear members of the Washington Farm Forestry Association,
You have been invited to the Governor's Town Hall Meetings
to ask questions or to comment on the importance of maintaining our working
forest and farm lands. It is an opportunity to use the power of
"we the people" that is still found in our political system,
if you chose to take the time and initiative to attend.
Recently the WFFA staff had conversations with John Mankowski, Executive Policy Advisor to Governor Gregoire, on the WFFA vision of farm forestry in Washington.
We suggested the WFFA would be willing to publicly "have a
celebration" with the Governor and with the Department of Natural
Resources in July of 2008 if we could see completion of two
things: One, smooth sailing and satisfied tree farmers using
15-year permits; and two, acceptance of Lewis County's Family Forest
HCP by the federal and state agencies.
We also have hopes of moving forward with
"Low Impact Harvest" legislation and hope to have continued
Governor's support this session. "Low Impact Harvest"
legislation would allow the harvest of 20,000 board feet (4 - 5 log
truck loads) of timber with a simple one page notification process
rather than the onerous Forest Practice Application and permit
currently needed. This could be used for a very small harvest or
forest health issue such as root rot or blow down. "Low
Impact Harvest" would be limited to small harvests that have no
impact on the public resources such as clean water or fish
habitat. This could also help the Department of Natural Resources
deal with the "hazard tree" issue.
The importance of Governor Gregoire
hearing from us can not be overstated. It is your face and voice
that helps her best understand our issues and
concerns. If you chose to speak, please write it down in case you
are asked to leave a copy of your statement. Keep it short and
respectful. Even if you plan on just attending and saying your
name and that you are there as a member of the WFFA and a concerned
Small Forest Landowner, it is a way that you can bring value to our
association and proudly participate in our republic.
Rick Dunning, Executive Director
Washington Farm Forestry