EXTENDING THE STATE BIODIVERSITY COUNCIL
WHEREAS, Washington risks losing much of its rich natural diversity due to habitat fragmentation, degradation and conversion to other land uses. Threats to species and critical ecosystems have resulted in endangered species listings, which can disrupt communities and long-term resource management. Decisions we make today affect Washington's biodiversity for our children and all future generations of Washingtonians; and
WHEREAS, the Biodiversity Council (Council) has written the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (Strategy), which articulates a comprehensive guide to effectively conserving the state's biodiversity; and
WHEREAS, the Strategy identifies a Conservation Opportunity Framework that holds great promise for incorporating biodiversity protection within a multitude of programs including land use planning; landowner conservation incentives and assistance programs; and a host of existing federal, state, and local conservation funding programs; and
WHEREAS, the Council developed the Strategy collaboratively with stakeholders and took into account the needs of communities and working landowners; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order 04-02, which created the Council, expired by its terms on December 31, 2007, and there exists strong momentum to move forward. As a result, an entity is needed to guide and coordinate implementation of the Strategy and to monitor the results;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington declare that the State Biodiversity Council be continued by this Executive Order to ensure implementation of the State Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.
The Council shall:
|•||Generally operate under the procedures it previously
adopted pursuant to Executive Order 04-02, or as
subsequently amended by the Council under this
|•||Consist of no more than 24 members appointed by the
Governor representing the Department of Fish and
Wildlife, the Department of Ecology, the Department
of Natural Resources, the Puget Sound Partnership,
the State Parks and Recreation Commission, the
Department of Transportation, the Conservation
Commission, the Department of Community, Trade and
Economic Development, local government, federal
agencies, tribal governments, private landowners,
academia, educators, non-governmental organizations
and at-large members.
|•||The Council may reimburse travel and meeting expenses to non-governmental members at the discretion of the Council. The Recreation and Conservation Office shall administer all contracts and expenses for the Council.|
|•||Coordinate implementation of early action items from
the Strategy to the extent possible based on
available funding and other support, paying
particular attention to demonstrating the utility of
the Strategy's Conservation Opportunity Framework.
|•||Develop a proposal that recommends a structure to
provide on-going leadership and accountability for
implementation of the Strategy. The proposal should
specifically include how the Strategy will serve as
an organizing principle for natural resource
agencies. It should also include how it will build
on the efforts of federal, state, regional, tribal,
local and private initiatives including, but not
limited to, the Puget Sound Partnership, the Climate
Advisory Team, the Habitat and Recreation Lands
Coordinating Group and the Comprehensive Wildlife
Conservation Strategy. The proposed approach,
including any recommendations for legislation or
funding, shall be provided to the Governor and the
Legislature by November 1, 2008.
|•||Conduct outreach activities on the findings and
recommendations of the Strategy to stakeholder
groups and interested parties.
|•||Maintain the Biodiversity Project Website to ensure
it continues to serve as a state hub for
biodiversity information, resources and data.
|•||Seek creative funding opportunities from
partnerships created by the Council.
|•||Implement regional pilot projects to demonstrate how
the Strategy can be applied at a regional level to
guide investments on the ground and to coordinate
|•||Direct the creation of a science-based Biodiversity
Scorecard to provide a baseline measure of the
health of Washington's biodiversity resources.
|•||Track how funding and land use decisions affect
biodiversity over time.
|•||Ensure the work on monitoring is coordinated with other monitoring forums in the region, such as those for salmon recovery and watershed health.|
Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington, on this 6th day of March 2008, at Olympia, Washington.
|Christine O. Gregoire|
|BY THE GOVERNOR:|
|Secretary of State|