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Legislative finding and declaration.

(1) The legislature hereby finds and declares that the forestland resources are among the most valuable of all resources in the state; that a viable forest products industry is of prime importance to the state's economy; that it is in the public interest for public and private commercial forestlands to be managed consistent with sound policies of natural resource protection; that coincident with maintenance of a viable forest products industry, it is important to afford protection to forest soils, fisheries, wildlife, water quantity and quality, air quality, recreation, and scenic beauty.
(2) The legislature further finds and declares it to be in the public interest of this state to create and maintain through the adoption of this chapter a comprehensive statewide system of laws and forest practices rules which will achieve the following purposes and policies:
(a) Afford protection to, promote, foster and encourage timber growth, and require such minimum reforestation of commercial tree species on forestlands as will reasonably utilize the timber growing capacity of the soil following current timber harvest;
(b) Afford protection to forest soils and public resources by utilizing all reasonable methods of technology in conducting forest practices;
(c) Recognize both the public and private interest in the profitable growing and harvesting of timber;
(d) Promote efficiency by permitting maximum operating freedom consistent with the other purposes and policies stated herein;
(e) Provide for regulation of forest practices so as to avoid unnecessary duplication in such rules;
(f) Provide for interagency input and intergovernmental and tribal coordination and cooperation;
(g) Achieve compliance with all applicable requirements of federal and state law with respect to nonpoint sources of water pollution from forest practices;
(h) To consider reasonable land use planning goals and concepts contained in local comprehensive plans and zoning regulations;
(i) Foster cooperation among managers of public resources, forest landowners, Indian tribes and the citizens of the state;
(j) Develop a watershed analysis system that addresses the cumulative effect of forest practices on, at a minimum, the public resources of fish, water, and public capital improvements of the state and its political subdivisions; and
(k) Assist forest landowners in accessing market capital and financing for the ecosystem services provided to the public as a result of the protection of public resources.
(3) The legislature further finds and declares that it is also in the public interest of the state to encourage forest landowners to undertake corrective and remedial action to reduce the impact of mass earth movements and fluvial processes.
(4) The legislature further finds and declares that it is in the public interest that the applicants for state forest practices permits should assist in paying for the cost of review and permitting necessary for the environmental protection of these resources.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2010 c 188: See note following RCW 76.44.070.
Part headings not law1999 sp.s. c 4: See note following RCW 77.85.180.
Effective date1993 c 443: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [May 15, 1993]." [ 1993 c 443 § 6.]
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