Urge Clallam County Commissioners: There is Still Time to Save our Forests!
Click the "Start Writing" button to send a prewritten email to Clallam County Council telling them to protect our mature forests!
The State Legislature has budgeted 70 million dollars from the new Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) account for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase new forestland. 2,000 acres of this forestland are to be exchanged for conserving mature forests. Clallam Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) still needs to tell DNR that they are interested in having some of these acres in our county. If not, Clallam County will miss this conservation opportunity.
This week, Commissioners heard a presentation from Dr. Catharine Copass from the Olympic Forest Coalition where she suggested two parcels that would be great candidates for the 2,000 acre program. One parcel is in the Elwha watershed and the other is in the Dungeness watershed. Putting these parcels into conservation would have no negative financial impacts on local services like schools and fire stations. Now we need commissioners to send a letter to DNR saying they want to participate in the program, and nominate these special parcels.
Q: What portion of the Natural Climate Solutions funds will go to Clallam County?
A: The DNR has not made that determination, but if the County Council does not act soon, none of the funds will go to our county.
Q: What will the DNR do with the funds?
A: They will acquire timberland that is equal in value to the mature forests to be protected and replace the mature forests with this newly acquired land. The new timberland must be located in counties west of the crest of the Cascade mountains, all of Skamania county, or the western portion of Klickitat county.
Q: What are mature forests?
A: Mature forests are structurally complex and carbon dense and at the stage before becoming an old growth forest. These forests help keep water clean, stabilize land during heavy rains and floods, keep carbon out of the atmosphere, and protect salmon-bearing streams. They also provide excellent wildlife habitat for a range of native species, many of which depend on mature forests to survive.