76.04.511  <<  76.04.516 >>   76.04.521

Report to the governor and legislatureForest inventoryForest growth and yield modelingSustainable harvest calculationReviewReport.

*** CHANGE IN 2022 *** (SEE 5693-S.SL) ***
(1) By December 1st of each even-numbered year, and in compliance with RCW 43.01.036, the department must report to the governor and legislature on the following:
(a) The type and amount of the expenditures made, by fiscal year, and for what purpose, from the wildfire response, forest restoration, and community resilience account created in RCW 76.04.511;
(b) The amount of unexpended and unobligated funds in the wildfire response, forest restoration, and community resilience account and recommendations for the disbursement to local districts;
(c) Progress on implementation of the wildland fire protection 10-year strategic plan including, but not limited to, how investments are reducing human-caused wildfire starts, lowering the size and scale and geography of catastrophic wildfires, reducing the communities, landscapes, and population at risk, and creating resilient landscapes and communities;
(d) Progress on implementation of the 20-year forest health strategic plan as established through the forest health assessment and treatment framework pursuant to RCW 76.06.200 including, but not limited to: Assessment of fire prone lands and communities that are in need of forest health treatments; forest health treatments prioritized and conducted by landowner type, geography, and risk level; estimated value of any merchantable materials from forest health treatments; and number of acres treated by treatment type, including the use of prescribed fire;
(e) Progress on developing markets for forest residuals and biomass generated from forest health treatments.
(2) The department must include recommendations on any adjustments that may be necessary or advisable to the mechanism of funding dispensation as created under chapter 298, Laws of 2021.
(3) The report required in this section should support existing department assessments pursuant to RCW 79.10.530 and 76.06.200.
(4)(a)(i) Prior to the determination of the 2025-2034 sustainable harvest calculation as required by RCW 79.10.320, the department must hire an independent third-party contractor to assist it in updating its forest inventory by increasing the intensity of forest sample plots on all forestlands over the next two biennium. The department's sustainable harvest calculation technical advisory committee must be involved in the design, development, and implementation of this forest inventory update.
(ii) For purposes of this subsection, "forest inventory" means the collection of sample data to estimate a range of forest attributes including, but not limited to, standing volume, stored carbon, habitat attributes, age classes, tree species, and other inventory attributes, including information needed to estimate rates of tree growth and associated carbon sequestration on department lands.
(iii) The department's sustainable harvest calculation technical advisory committee must bring forward recommendations for regular maintenance and updates to the forest inventory on a ten-year basis.
(b) Prior to the determination of the 2025-2034 sustainable harvest calculation as required by RCW 79.10.320, the department must hire a third-party contractor to review, analyze, and advise the department's forest growth and yield modeling, specific to all types of forested acres managed by the department. The department's sustainable harvest calculation technical advisory committee must be involved in the design, review, and analysis of the department's forest growth and yield modeling.
(c) Prior to the determination of the 2025-2034 sustainable harvest calculation as required by RCW 79.10.320 and in the absence of any litigation, pending or in progress, against the department's sustainable harvest calculation, the joint legislative audit and review committee established in chapter 44.28 RCW must oversee and conduct an independent review of the methodologies and data being utilized by the department in the development of the sustainable harvest calculation, including the associated forest inventory, forest growth, harvest and yield data, and modeling techniques that impact harvest levels. In carrying out the review, the joint legislative audit and review committee shall:
(i) Retain one or more contractors with expertise in forest inventories, forest growth and yield modeling, and operational research modeling in forest harvest scheduling to conduct the technical review;
(ii) Be a member of department's sustainable harvest calculation technical advisory committee, along with one of its contractors selected in (c)(i) of this subsection; and
(iii) Prior to the department's determination of the sustainable harvest [calculation] under RCW 79.10.320, ensure that a completed independent review and report with findings and recommendations is submitted to the board of natural resources and the legislature.
(d) Upon receiving the report from the joint legislative audit and review committee required under (c)(iii) of this subsection, the board of natural resources shall determine whether modifications are necessary to the sustainable harvest calculation prior to approving harvest level under RCW 79.10.320.

NOTES:

Short title2021 c 298: See note following RCW 76.04.505.
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