Supt. Reykdal: Let Scientists Manage State-Owned Forests

In keeping with the resolution passed by the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) Natural Resources Policy Committee earlier this year and the letter sent by WFSE to the Board of Natural Resources and the Commissioner of Public Lands, the following statement is in response to Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal's proposal to cease funding the state’s School Construction Assistance Program with timber sales from state-owned lands.

WFSE, as the union representing the Washington State Department of Natural Resources' scientists and technical staff, supports the science-based management of state lands.

Our members set an example of how sustainable, climate-smart forest management can provide wood products and revenue for critical services while sequestering carbon, protecting and restoring the environment, and paying workers a living wage.

We are concerned that workers in forests and mills, including our members, our colleagues represented by the Washington Public Employees Association, and all timber workers, will be harmed by Superintendent Reykdal's proposal.

We urge the Superintendent, and all elected officials, to listen to the scientists we represent and to base your decisions on the best available data.