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Goldmark Lauds Federal Forest Restoration Funds

February 07, 2012

    Commissioner Peter Goldmark joined KOHO by phone to discuss USDA grants

for forest restorartion in Eastern WA. Here is the DNR Press Release from February 2nd, in

full:   

 

    "Governor Chris Gregoire and

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark today expressed strong support of a U.S. Department of Agriculture

(USDA) announcement to accelerate forest restoration. As part of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s restoration

strategy, $40 million has been allocated for 20 projects nationwide that will enhance forest health and restore

watersheds, including two in national forests in eastern Washington.
       

“This investment is good for our forests, and it’s good for our economic recovery,” Gregoire

said. “This funding will help develop new models of sustainable management while creating jobs in rural

parts of our state. I commend those involved in developing this proposal. Their collaboration has paid

off.”

    “I have been greatly concerned with the health of eastern

Washington’s forests and rural communities,” said Commissioner Goldmark, “Secretary Vilsack

today provided just what the doctor ordered.”

    In December, Gregoire and

Goldmark joined the state’s Congressional Delegation in writing Vilsack to urge that he select the Colville

National Forest to receive funding under the U.S. Forest Service’s Collaborative Forest Landscape

Restoration (CFLR) program competition. In January, 33 members of the Washington State Legislature wrote the

Secretary, pledging their support. The CFLR program provides a stable funding source to national forests in which

management has successfully reduced conflicts over forest management decisions and made a commitment to forest

restoration.

    “Without the support of Senators Murray and Cantwell, and

Representatives Dicks and McMorris Rodgers, this would not have been possible,” said Goldmark.

/>    Considered a high priority project, the Colville National Forest will receive funding for the

first time, in the amount of $968,000 according to USDA. The Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest was selected for

funding in 2011, and today, Vilsack announced the project’s continued funding for another year.

/>    The environmental community and the forest industry, once adversaries, came together eight

years ago on the Colville National Forest to resolve their differences. The group, called the Northeast Washington

Forestry Coalition, has advanced a shared goal of environmental protection alongside economic prosperity and

sustainable forestry. The Coalition is comprised of member groups such as Conservation Northwest, The Lands

Council, Vaagen Brothers Lumber, and Avista Utilities, among many others."