FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2012; Amended October 12, 2012
Agreement will assist small forest landowners in developing more sustainable forests
Signing ceremony will usher in new outreach and certification efforts
SEATTLE – The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Northwest Natural Resource Group are announcing an innovative public-private partnership for collaboration and innovation in outreach to small forest landowners.
Small forest landowners own one quarter of all forests in Washington State, and development pressure continues to encroach upon natural resource lands, making them harder to maintain. The need for innovative tools and assistance that keep these lands viable has never been greater. Landowners and rural communities need new economic opportunities, and forests across the state need improved health and resilience to maintain clean water, resist catastrophic forest fires, and adapt to climate change.
This partnership commits the Resource Group and DNR to work together to:
- Pursue funding to better serve these landowners and the valuable natural resources that they own and steward.
- Develop new markets and incentives for small forest landowners, such as water quality payments and markets for certified wood.
- Provide, for the first time, small forest landowners access to pursue Forest Stewardship Council™ certification; adding to the toolbox of DNR’s work with small landowners.
DNR Commissioner Peter Goldmark and Northwest Natural Resource Group Executive Director Dan Stonington will sign a memorandum of understanding detailing this partnership on Tuesday, September 18, at an event celebrating Northwest Natural Resource Group’s 20th anniversary.
“I am proud to recognize the successes of Northwest Natural Resource Group in promoting specialty forest markets and high conservation standards through FSC certification,” said Commissioner of Public Land Peter Goldmark. “This agreement will help leverage scarce resources and provide great new services to landowners.”
“Having successfully served small forest landowners for over ten years through a variety of educational and certification outreach programs, we are extremely pleased and honored that the DNR has chosen to work with us to amplify the impact of our efforts to create and enhance sustainable working forestland across the Northwest,” said Dan Stonington, Northwest Natural Resource Group executive director.
Landowners are encouraged to contact DNR’s Small Forest Landowner Office Director Tami Miketa (360-902-1415) or Northwest Natural Resource Group Executive Director Dan Stonington (206-971-3709) for further information about this partnership and associated programs.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages more than 5.7 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. DNR also administers the state Forest Practices Rules on 12 million acres of private and state-owned forestlands, regulates surface mining reclamation and forest debris burning, and provides wildfire protection for 12.7 million acres of tribal, private, and state-owned forests. With financial support from the U.S. Forest Service, DNR also provides forest management advice and financial assistance to small family forest owners. This assistance helps landowners to improve fish and wildlife habitat, forest health, and timber growth and reduce the risk of wildfire.
About the Northwest Natural Resource Group
The mission of the Northwest Natural Resource Group is to use the marketplace to restore forests and local economies. Dedicated to promoting a sustainable, environmentally sound economy in the forestlands and watersheds of the Pacific Northwest, NNRG focuses on the smaller woodlands owned and managed by private landowners, smaller forest product companies, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations. The organization has 170 landowner members across 160,000 acres in Washington and Oregon and provides access to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, forest management assistance, landowner incentives, marketing, and educational workshops.
Bryan Flint, Director of Communications and Outreach, 360-902-1023, email@example.com
Dan Stonington, Executive Director, Northwest Natural Resource Group, Cell: (206) 715-2368, firstname.lastname@example.org
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