HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 97-4626, by Representative McMorris


     WHEREAS, Washington State has rich and diverse forest resources; and

     WHEREAS, There are 21.5 million acres of public and private forest lands in this state; and

     WHEREAS, Washington forests supply many goods and services, including water, fish, wildlife, recreation, timber, forage, and open space; and

     WHEREAS, The regulation and importance of forest practices and their effect on the environment and quality of soil in Washington State are increasingly complex; and

     WHEREAS, There is increasing demand for timber from private nonindustrial landowners; and

     WHEREAS, An increasing number of individuals hold themselves out as experts in forest management practices as the available supply of harvestable timber diminishes and the value of forest products increases; and

     WHEREAS, There currently are no means of providing reliable information to private landowners about the training and expertise of persons representing themselves as consulting foresters; and

     WHEREAS, Individuals without adequate training and experience can cause significant damage to the forests of our state by recommending unproven or unsound forest management practices;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives Commerce and Labor Committee and Natural Resources Committee conduct an interim review to determine appropriate methods for developing consistent and reliable information about consulting foresters, and for publication and distribution of such information to the public; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the chairs of the House of Representatives Commerce and Labor Committee and Natural Resources Committee consult with interested committee members and direct the work of appropriate staff to determine the scope and outcome of this review and report to the legislature prior to the 1998 regular session of the legislature; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That advice and counsel should be sought from representatives of the Association of Consulting Foresters; Washington Farm Forestry Association; Society of American Foresters; and Washington Forest Protection Association to make the best use of information currently available; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be immediately transmitted by the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives to the Association of Consulting Foresters, the Washington Farm Forestry Association, the Society of American Foresters, and the Washington Forest Protection Association.