Marbled Murrelet

Board of Natural Resources launches review of alternatives for marbled murrelet conservation

At its regular monthly public meeting yesterday, the Board of Natural Resources began the process of comparing five alternative proposals aimed at conserving habitat for the marbled murrelet on state trust lands in western Washington. “I’m pleased with the robust discussion of the alternatives for conserving marbled murrelet habitat,” said Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public […]

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  • WA DNR

    Washington heightens scrutiny of timber harvests near geological hazards

    Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has announced new requirements for proposed timber harvests near potential landslide hazard areas. Applicants for harvest permits will be required by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which Commissioner Goldmark administers, to provide a detailed site review by a qualified geologist when DNR determines that a timber […]

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  • Commissioner of Public Lands Announces Quarterly Award For DNR Employee

    Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has honored a Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employee who helped the department secure millions of dollars in grant funding to improve fish habitat on forested state trust lands.

    Jason Mettler (left) received the DNR Supernova Award on June 11, 2012. Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark (right) honored Mettler for his successful efforts to locate and apply for million of dollars in federal grants for DNR projects to improve fish habitat on state trust lands. (Photo: Bob Redling/DNR)Jason Mettler, a DNR road engineer, received the DNR Supernova Award, which honors outstanding performance. Mettler researched the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant process to find alternative funding for several DNR needs. His efforts led to nearly $5 million in FEMA grant awards to DNR over the past four years. The grants include about $3 million for correcting culverts and other barriers on forest roads that prevent salmon and other fish from reaching upstream habitat.

    Both DNR and private forestland owners are directed by the state’s Forests and Fish Law to remove or repair fish barrier culverts and other obstructions to migrating fish by 2016.

    Jason brings many outstanding traits to his work, most notably the ingenuity and perseverance to find federal grant funds that help DNR meet important goals for habitat and clean water, – Peter Goldmark
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  • Natural Resources Board Approves Purchase, Amends Marbled Murrelet Plan

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – At its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, the Board of Natural Resources approved the purchase of 3,359 acres of irrigated agricultural land in Benton County from a private company. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will manage the acquired parcel as a source of long-term revenue to support public school construction statewide.

    The purchased property, which adjoins other trust lands managed by DNR, includes water rights and irrigation systems. Once fully developed for row crops, orchards and vineyards, the $11.3 million purchase is expected to produce between $1.2 million and $1.5 million in new revenue annually to support public school construction statewide. The seller of the property is Sandpiper Tree Farm, LLC. Funds for the acquisition will come from a land replacement account that DNR uses to acquire working forests and other natural resource lands. The account is funded by the sales of trust lands that are less productive or less likely to provide long-term revenue to the public school beneficiaries.

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  • State DNR saves millions of dollars in fuel and vehicle costs

    OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) slashed $3 million in costs last year by eliminating 125 vehicles from its  agency motor pool. The Department, which manages millions of acres of state-owned forest, agricultural and grazing land, expects to save at least $300,000 each year in operating costs due to the reductions.


    “Reducing emissions and the overall energy footprint of DNR is a top priority,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “By cutting the number of vehicles and driving less we are saving millions of dollars while enhancing our mission of managing the state’s lands wisely and for the public good.”


    The effort to reduce the agency’s energy footprint is a major goal of the DNR Strategic Plan: 2010-2010: The Goldmark Agenda. DNR is using a combination of conservation, cleaner energy and management strategies to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses its operations introduce into the atmosphere.

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  • State DNR launches web-based forum for public dialog

    OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is launching the DNR Forum, an online, public conversation where participants may share their perspectives regarding a specific natural resources issue.

    “The DNR Forum is an opportunity for people from all parts of our state to offer ideas, opinions and information to DNR about a specific topic,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “It is also a chance for DNR to engage citizens to examine the various points of view of the public on a specific issue.”

    Each day the forum is active, a ‘conversation starter’ will be posted on the forum to prompt deliberation about important aspects of our natural resources. While ideas from a broad range of contributors are encouraged, the forum will be moderated for appropriate language and topic relevancy. Generally, the DNR Forum will spotlight an issue for one week and post moderated public comments during regular business hours Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. DNR will also provide information to help inform and guide the discussion.

    DNR’s geoduck aquaculture forum page

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  • Follow Washington’s largest manager of state lands on ‘Ear to the Ground’ blog

    OLYMPIA – "Ear to the Ground," a blog from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), helps the public follow the agency and its management of 5.6 million acres of state lands that provide revenue to support public schools, universities, county services and other public institutions.

    Readers of Ear to the Ground ( were among the first to learn how to download an application to partner with DNR on a biomass project to demonstrate the safe use of wood energy.

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  • DNR Preps For Summer Burn Ban

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced there will be a statewide burn ban on all DNR-protected lands July 1, 2012, through September 30, 2012. This means all forestlands in Washington under DNR fire protection; the burn ban does not apply to federal lands.

    In effect July 1  September 30, 2012

    The threat of wildfires from escaped outdoor burning is high during the summer months due to dry forest vegetation. Each year, DNR strives to keep all wildfires under 10 acres. Already this year, DNR has had 35 wildfire starts simply from escaped outdoor burn piles, which have burned approximately 434 acres.

    Wildfires are dangerous for people and property and result in large expenditures of public funding that can be avoided through prevention – Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark
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  • EPA will continue to recognize biomass as renewable

    OLYMPIA – The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its plan to defer, for three years, greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from biomass-fired and other biogenic sources of emissions.


    This action responds to Washington State, congressional leaders’ and scientists’ concerns that biomass would be treated the same as fossil fuel-based energy sources in EPA GHG regulations that took effect this month. Governor Chris Gregoire and Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark encouraged EPA to take a different approach in a letter to Administrator Lisa Jackson in September 2010.


    EPA’s decision insures that the carbon-sequestering benefits of trees will be duly recognized, and provides more certainty for companies seeking to create jobs and make investments in biomass technologies.


    “EPA is to be commended for committing to a science-driven process that can credibly distinguish renewable forest biomass from other sources,” said Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark. “Washington State’s has been well served by the efforts of Governor Gregoire and our federal congressional delegation in advocating for forestry and renewable energy jobs.”

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  • DNR Lifts Statewide Burn Ban

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the statewide burn ban has been lifted from DNR-protected lands earlier than anticipated. The heavy rainfall throughout the state has eased the summer fire danger and the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Centers September 2010 outlook calls for below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

    DNR urges continued caution with all potential fire sources, including tools, vehicles, camp stoves and other equipment and activities. Forest landowners may now conduct silvicultural burning subject to the conditions of their written burning permit or under DNR rules for burning without a permit.

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  • Washington DNR Urging Fire Safety This Labor Day Weekend

    OLYMPIA – Despite the moderating weather conditions across much of the state, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging campers, recreationists, woods workers, and other forest visitors to be especially careful with fire this weekend. Even with small amounts of rain, firefighters have been busy on both sides of the state putting out fires.

    “We want people to be aware that even if we’ve had a few scattered showers, wildfires can still occur because of the very dry landscape,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We need much more rain than what this weekend will offer to help us with fire season.”

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