HOUSE BILL 1784
State of Washington
2019 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Kretz, Blake, and Shea
Read first time 01/30/19.Referred to Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
and 2010 c 126 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:
The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Administrator" means the administrator of the department of natural resources.
(2) "Agency" and "state agency" means any branch, department, or unit of the state government, however designated or constituted.
(3) "Board" means the board of natural resources.
(4) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of public lands.
(5) "Department" means the department of natural resources.
(6) "Supervisor" means the supervisor of natural resources.
(7) "Wildfire fuel break" means a natural or constructed barrier used to stop or check wildfires that may occur or to provide a control line from which to work.
and 2004 c 199 s 101 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The department may:
(a) Inquire into the production, quality, and quantity of second growth timber to ascertain conditions for reforestation; and
(b) Publish information pertaining to forestry and forest products which it considers of benefit to the people of the state.
(2) The department shall:
(a) Collect information through investigation by its employees, on forestlands owned by the state, including:
(i) Condition of the lands;
(ii) Forest fire damage;
(iii) Illegal cutting, trespassing, or thefts; and
(iv) The number of acres and the value of the timber that is cut and removed each year, to determine which state lands are valuable chiefly for growing timber;
(b) Prepare maps of each timbered county showing state land therein; ((and))
(c) Protect forested public land, as defined in RCW 79.02.010
, as much as is practical and feasible from fire, trespass, theft, and the illegal cutting of timber; and
(d) Annually establish wildfire fuel breaks across public lands and in coordination with abutting landowners where practicable. These wildfire fuel breaks should optimize the use of natural features, provide large areas of coverage, and be positioned to minimize the spread of wildfire across various landholdings.
(3) When the department considers it to be in the best interest of the state, it may cooperate with any agency of another state, the United States or any agency thereof, the Dominion of Canada or any agency or province thereof, and any county, town, corporation, individual, or Indian tribe within the state of Washington in:
(a) Forest surveys;
(b) Forest studies;
(c) Forest products studies; and
(d) Preparation of plans for the protection, management, and replacement of trees, wood lots, and timber tracts.
and 2017 c 95 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The department must establish a forest health assessment and treatment framework designed to proactively and systematically address the forest health issues facing the state. Specifically, the framework must endeavor to achieve an initial goal of assessing and treating one million acres of land by 2033.
(2) The department must utilize the framework to assess and treat acreage in an incremental fashion each biennium. The framework consists of three elements: Assessment; treatment; and progress review and reporting.
(a) Assessment. Each biennium, the department must identify and assess two hundred thousand acres of fire prone lands and communities that are in need of forest health treatment, including the use of prescribed fire or mechanical treatment, such as thinning.
(i) The scope of the assessment must include lands protected by the department as well as lands outside of the department's fire protection responsibilities that could pose a high risk to department protected lands during a fire.
(ii) The assessment must identify areas in need of treatment, the type or types of treatment recommended, data and planning needs to carry out recommended treatment, and the estimated cost of recommended treatment.
(b) Treatment. Each biennium, the department must review previously completed assessments and prioritize and conduct as many identified treatments as possible using appropriations provided for that specific purpose; and establish wildfire fuel breaks in compliance with RCW 43.30.700(2)(d)
(c) Progress review and reporting. By December 1st of each even-numbered year, the department must provide the appropriate committees of the legislature and the office of financial management with:
(i) A request for appropriations designed to implement the framework in the following biennium, including assessment work and conducting treatments identified in previously completed assessments;
(ii) A prioritized list and brief summary of treatments planned to be conducted under the framework with the requested appropriations, including relevant information from the assessment; and
(iii) A list and brief summary of treatments carried out under the framework in the preceding biennium, including total funding available, costs for completed treatment, and treatment outcomes. The summary must include any barriers to framework implementation and legislative or administrative recommendations to address those barriers.
(3) In developing and implementing the framework, the department must:
(a) Utilize and build on the forest health strategic planning initiated under section 308(11), chapter 36, Laws of 2016 sp. sess., to the maximum extent practicable, to promote the efficient use of resources; and
(b) Establish a forest health advisory committee to assist in developing and implementing the framework. The committee may: (i) Include representation from large and small forest landowners, wildland fire response organizations, milling and log transportation industries, forest collaboratives that may exist in the affected areas, highly affected communities and community preparedness organizations, conservation groups, and other interested parties deemed appropriate by the commissioner; and (ii) consult with relevant local, state, and federal agencies, and tribes.
(4) The department must establish and implement the forest health assessment and treatment framework within the appropriations specifically provided for this purpose.
and 2017 c 248 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the department shall, to the extent feasible given all applicable trust responsibilities, develop and implement a policy for prioritizing investments on forest health treatments to protect state lands and state forestlands, as those terms are defined in RCW 79.02.010
, to: (((i)
Reduce wildfire hazards and losses from wildfire; (((ii)
reduce insect infestation and disease; and (((iii)
achieve cumulative impact of improved forest health and resilience at a landscape scale.
(ii)(A) The reduction of wildfire hazards in this section includes identifying, configuring, and establishing wildfire fuel breaks across the landscape. These wildfire fuel breaks should optimize use of natural features, provide large areas of coverage, and be positioned to minimize the spread of wildfire across various landholdings.
(B) For the purposes of this subsection, "wildfire fuel break" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 43.30.020.
(b) The prioritization policy in (a) of this subsection must consider whether state lands and state forestlands are within an area that is subject to a forest health hazard warning or order pursuant to RCW 76.06.180
(2)(a) The department's prioritization of state lands and state forestlands must be based on an evaluation of the economic and noneconomic value of:
(i) Timber or other commercial forest products removed during any mechanical treatments;
(ii) Timber or other commercial forest products likely to be spared from damage by wildfire;
(iii) Homes, structures, agricultural products, and public infrastructure likely to be spared from damage by wildfire;
(iv) Impacts to recreation and tourism; and
(v) Ecosystem services such as water quality, air quality, or carbon sequestration.
(b) The department's evaluation of economic values may rely on heuristic techniques.
(3) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section and RCW 79.10.530
unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(a) "Forest health" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 76.06.020
(b) "Forest health treatment" or "treatment" means actions taken by the department to restore forest health including, but not limited to, sublandscape assessment and project planning, site preparation, reforestation, mechanical treatments including timber harvest, road realignment for fire protection and aquatic improvements, and prescribed burning.
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