Urgent Action Needed: Help Save Thurston County’s Mature Forests this Legislative Session!

“Chai” timber sale, Capitol State Forest. Photo credit: Universal Wildlands

Click the "Start Writing" button to send a prewritten email to your state legislators asking them to conserve Thurston County’s mature forests this legislative session!

Last year, the State Legislature conserved 2,000 acres of mature forests using newly available funds from the Climate Commitment Act (CCA). This resulted in some of our state’s most beautiful forestlands being permanently protected. However, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) didn’t include any of Capitol State Forest, even though Thurston County Commissioners nominated over 1000 acres!

This year’s legislative session has just begun, and we have an opportunity to ensure that this time Thurston County gets some of its most beautiful mature forests off the chopping block and permanently conserved.

Click the “Start Writing” button to send a pre-written letter to your legislators asking them to allocate CCA funds for the conservation of mature forests including those in Capitol State Forest, and for replacement lands for economically-impacted rural counties.

Our mature forests are worth saving, and your support can make a difference. Thank you for taking action!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What will the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) do with the CCA Natural Climate Solution (NCS) 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. Because the replacement land must be of equal value, it will result in more acres for trust beneficiaries. This is because the high timber value of big trees will mean that more acres of younger forest will have to be purchased to make up for that value. This will mean that rural schools will have more acres generating revenue for them moving forward.

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. They excel at storing and drawing down enormous amounts of carbon needed for our state to meet its ambitious carbon reduction goals. They also help us improve forest health and our resilience to climate change impacts including wildfire, flooding, water shortage, and biodiversity loss. Conservation of structurally complex, carbon dense forests is Washington State’s best natural climate solution.