House approves bill to transfer state forest land to promote timber harvesting

Measure would benefit Skamania and Klickitat counties

 

The House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, that would help counties harvest more timber on county-owned land.

House Bill 1595 would allow the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to transfer land management to other public entities within small counties that are dependent on timber. It would affect just Skamania, Klickitat, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties.

“Smaller counties dependent on timber revenue, like Skamania and Klickitat, have been unable to harvest timber due to habitat conservation efforts,” Chandler said. “This bill allows DNR to buy replacement land for habitat conservation and free up more land for timber harvest.”

Chandler noted that Skamania County was receiving about $2 million per year in timber revenue, and now brings in just $200,000 each year.

“Even though it may seem like a minor bill, it is really critical for these four counties,” he said.

The measure was passed unanimously off the House floor. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov