BILL REQ. #: S-0427.3
|State of Washington||58th Legislature||2003 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/15/2003. Referred to Committee on Natural Resources, Energy & Water.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND TO THE HONORABLE ANN M.
VENEMAN, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND TO DALE
BOSWORTH, CHIEF OF THE FOREST SERVICE, AND TO THE HONORABLE GAIL A.
NORTON, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, Wildfires in forest areas are increasing at an alarming rate with the 2002 fire season one of the most severe since the 1940s; and
WHEREAS, There are over 180 million acres of public land near communities with a high risk of fire; and
WHEREAS, Forest health both in Washington state and throughout the nation has been on a steady decline in many forests over the last thirty years; and
WHEREAS, Forest disease, overly dense forests, weeds, and brush and shrub build-up are increasing problems; and
WHEREAS, Federal government agencies can help eliminate the impending crisis by working closely with local communities to restore damaged landscapes and appropriately reforest and manage lands near homes and urban areas;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that there be aggressive, immediate, and continued forest health-related management activities on all forestland and on all Washington national forests. Aggressive forest management will enhance and protect the health of federal, state, and private forestlands. Such efforts will reduce the effects of catastrophic wildfire that threaten all forest values, including wildlife, water quality, and recreation opportunities. Aggressive management will protect communities within and surrounding the forests.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the United States Forest Service review the effectiveness of current fire fighting procedures and fire fighting procedures used in the past, including fire breaks established before fires and fire lines established during fires, to ensure that the most effective methods are used; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we strongly support federal management activities to reduce the risk of further spreading of insects and disease to state forestlands and private lands adjacent to federal lands; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we encourage the United States Forest Service to first focus management activities on federal lands adjacent to private lands to decrease the risk of wildfire on privately owned timberland, and then request from Congress the authority to use revenue generated from harvest activities to fund ecosystem restoration and reforestation activities to benefit fish and wildlife and improve water quality; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we encourage the United States Forest Service to strongly consider current market conditions and the economic viability of timber sales when choosing harvest methods, encourage innovative and efficient logging techniques that ensure adequate protection for fish, wildlife, and water quality, and capture as much economic value from timber as possible without compromising water quality or wildlife habitat; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That federal, state, and local agencies work together with the public to streamline the processes to jointly address all forest health issues in order to stem the tide of forest and grazing land wildfire, disease, and environmental degradation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That federal and state agencies work with all stakeholders to reduce the amount of litigation and appeals that encumber the efforts to provide policy solutions and to conduct field operations to improve our nation's public forests; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That Congress provide adequate funding levels for the United States Forest Service and continually assess the progress towards a healthy forest environment;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States, the Honorable Ann M. Veneman, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Dale Bosworth, Chief of the Forest Service, and the Honorable Gail A. Norton, Secretary of the Department of the Interior, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.