76.06.140  <<  76.06.150 >>   76.06.160

Forest healthCommissioner of public lands designated as state's leadReport to legislature.

(1) The commissioner of public lands is designated as the state of Washington's lead for all forest health issues.
(2) The commissioner of public lands shall strive to promote communications between the state and the federal government regarding forestland management decisions that potentially affect the health of forests in Washington and will allow the state to have an influence on the management of federally owned land in Washington. Such government-to-government cooperation is vital if the condition of the state's public and private forestlands are to be protected. These activities may include, when deemed by the commissioner to be in the best interest of the state:
(a) Representing the state's interest before all appropriate local, state, and federal agencies;
(b) Assuming the lead state role for developing formal comments on federal forest management plans that may have an impact on the health of forests in Washington;
(c) Pursuing in an expedited manner any available and appropriate cooperative agreements, including cooperating agency status designation, with the United States forest service and the United States bureau of land management that allow for meaningful participation in any federal land management plans that could affect the department's strategic plan for healthy forests and effective fire prevention and suppression, including the pursuit of any options available for giving effect to the cooperative philosophy contained within the national environmental policy act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 4331); and
(d) Pursuing agreements with federal agencies in the service of forest biomass energy partnerships and cooperatives authorized under RCW 43.30.835 through 43.30.840.
(3) The commissioner of public lands shall report to the chairs of the appropriate standing committees of the legislature every year on progress under this section, including the identification, if deemed appropriate by the commissioner, of any needed statutory changes, policy issues, or funding needs.


FindingsIntent2009 c 163: See note following RCW 43.30.835.
Effective date2004 c 218: See note following RCW 76.06.140.
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