Commissioner Franz, Secretary Laird Unite To Take Forest Health And Climate Change Work Beyond State Borders

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Wednesday, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird announced plans to collaborate on forest resilience and carbon sequestration opportunities across the western seaboard.

The announcement came during the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit where Franz and Laird are representing, respectively, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and California Natural Resources Agency.

“Forest health, wildfire, and climate are intrinsically linked. As leaders on these issues, we see a role for our states to learn from each other and develop innovative solutions to our shared challenges,” said Commissioner Franz. “We can and will make our communities, lands and waters more resilient, strengthening our economies and environment in the face of climate change.”

“Our states face many of the same challenges – a changing climate, tree mortality, and forests that lack resiliency,” said Secretary Laird. “Exploring how we work better and faster on these issues benefits not only Californians and Washingtonians, but other states and provinces as well.”

The collaboration between Washington and California involves seven principles:

  1. Share and explore innovations in fuel management methods, including prescribed and managed fire, pre-fire management, post-fire restoration, post-treatment monitoring and evaluation, tools and equipment, best practices, and technology to mitigate and lessen the negative effects of increased wildfires and tree mortality.
  2. Share and explore innovations in climate-informed reforestation, including strategies for climate-adapted species, genotypes, planting techniques, and ongoing management needs.
  3. Share and explore approaches to evaluate and account for changes in forest carbon over time.
  4. Share and explore advances in forest-related science and data collection to better understand how forests are responding to changes in climatic conditions.
  5. Share and explore innovations in low-carbon emitting, or carbon sequestering, utilization of harvested wood products removed from the forest through timber management or fuels reduction activities.
  6. Share and explore incentive mechanisms to reduce conversion of forestland to non-forest uses and promote carbon-rich, climate resilient forests.
  7. Share and explore opportunities for investments in natural and working lands that increase carbon sequestration, enhance forest resilience, encourage multi-benefit forest uses, and support natural resource dependent communities.

The Global Climate Action Summit began Wednesday and runs through Sept. 14 in San Francisco, CA.