Committee will advise DNR and WDFW on management of Washington's first state-managed community forest
OLYMPIA - The Washington state departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are seeking applications through Feb. 14 for the citizen-based Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee.
This committee will advise DNR and WDFW as the two agencies develop a management plan for the forest. State lawmakers have directed the agencies to complete the plan by June 30, 2015.
With that deadline in place, advisory committee members will be asked to make a significant time commitment to develop recommendations to the two agencies. The committee will begin meeting later this winter, and meetings will take place in the Kittitas County area.
When they approved the purchase of the Teanaway property last year, lawmakers directed DNR, in consultation with WDFW, to establish an advisory committee whose members include local residents and representatives of a wide range of interests, including agriculture and land conservation, as well as the Kittitas County Commission, the Yakama nation, and the state Department of Ecology.
In addition to forming the advisory committee, DNR and WDFW will seek significant public input to help them develop an inclusive and robust management plan. The public will be able to participate by attending meetings, completing an online survey, and communicating with the two agencies throughout the process.
Follow the web links below to apply for the advisory committee or to receive information throughout the planning process:
The Teanaway acquisition in 2013 was the largest single land transaction in Washington State in 45 years and reflects more than a decade of collaboration involving many organizations and individuals.
The property is Washington's first state-managed community forest under the terms of legislation enacted in 2011. That law established a model for managing state trust lands that empowers communities to partner with DNR to purchase forests that support local economies and public recreation.
Acquisition of the property was a key step in implementing the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, an initiative developed by a coalition of public and private organizations to safeguard the basin's water supply, restore fisheries, conserve habitat, preserve working lands, and enhance recreational opportunities.
The forest will be managed through a partnership between DNR and WDFW, with input from the local community and interested stakeholders.
DNR Media Contact: Diana Lofflin, Senior Communications Manager, 360-480-1037, Diana.Lofflin@dnr.wa.gov
WDFW Media Contact: Mike Livingston, WDFW South-Central Washington Regional Director, 509-457-9325, firstname.lastname@example.org