FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2010
DNR and Weyerhaeuser agree on landslide protections in watersheds
Stillman Creek and Upper Chehalis River watershed analyses to be reviewed
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Weyerhaeuser Company today announce an agreement to voluntarily increase landslide protections while reviewing two watershed analyses.
Weyerhaeuser has voluntarily agreed to undergo a review of the watershed analyses in the Stillman Creek and Upper Chehalis River watersheds. This action will result in Weyerhaeuser applying current forest practice rules and avoidance measures in addition to the existing watershed analysis. This may result in additional resource protection beyond what is currently required by the watershed analysis prescriptions under forest practice rules.
“Weyerhaeuser is the first forest products company willing to partner with the State of Washington and take steps to reduce the risk of landslides associated with major storm events,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “While this is initially a voluntary action on the part of Weyerhaeuser, I expect that the scientific information generated by this and other efforts of the partnership will result in improvements to resource protection.”
Under current forest practice rules, potentially unstable slopes in watersheds can be managed by a watershed analysis—outside of current forest practice rule prescriptions used on forested lands that do not use watershed analysis. These analyses are developed by land owners and stakeholders and then reviewed and approved by DNR. Since 1992, DNR has not discharged its responsibility to require consistent reviews on most of the 52 watershed analyses in the state, allowing dated forest practice prescriptions to continue to be applied.
As part of this cooperative action, Weyerhaeuser and DNR are committed to review the effectiveness of the existing watershed analysis prescriptions in those two watersheds and apply emerging technologies like slope stability models, digital elevation terrain mapping and advanced aerial photography imagining to enhance detection of potentially unstable slopes.
“We are pleased to partner with DNR and Commissioner Goldmark on this initiative and share the technical and scientific information we have gained on potentially unstable slope management over the last several years,” said Rich Wininger, Vice President, Weyerhaeuser Company.
Tomorrow at a special Forest Practices Board meeting, Commissioner Goldmark will present the agency’s plan to commence voluntary reviews of all watershed analysis throughout the state. The Board will also discuss additional steps the state can take to increase landslide protections.
“I hope other forestland owners will follow the lead of Weyerhaeuser and opt to have their own watershed analysis reviewed and provide the interim landslide protections while the analysis is under review,” said Commissioner Goldmark.
Media Contact: Aaron Toso, Director of Communications & Outreach, DNR, 360-902-1023 firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony Chavez, Manager Public Affairs, Weyerhaeuser Company, 253-924-7148 email@example.com
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