FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2010
State DNR 2009 Annual Report released online
‘A year of transition and opportunity’ details efforts for working lands and conservation
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) published its annual report today, which describes the department’s stewardship of more than 5.6 million acres of state trust lands. In addition to producing more than $192 million in non-tax revenue for public schools, universities, the state general fund and many counties in Fiscal Year 2009, DNR successfully managed state trust lands for native species’ habitat, clean water and public access to open spaces for recreation and education.
“I am proud of the way our staff and management team this year pulled together to overcome the challenges of a steep economic recession that deeply cut into our operating budget,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “From protecting aquatic lands in Willapa Bay to protecting homes from wildfire in Colville, DNR is working throughout the state on behalf of the people of Washington.”
The report describes financial results for Fiscal Year 2009, which ended July 1, 2009, as well as many highlights of calendar year 2009, including:
- Successfully launching the Forest Biomass Initiative – DNR successfully sought and gained passage of legislation to nurture private-sector-based, renewable green energy production that will use natural resource products from state trust lands.
- Refocusing wildland firefighting efforts – DNR used a quick-strike strategy that resulted in fewer acres burned by wildfire than average, maintained optimum safety to its personnel and the public and reduced expected firefighting costs by millions of dollars.
- Marketing key natural resource products aggressively – DNR directed more timber sales into profitable contract harvesting.
- Creating and expanding lands in Natural Area Preserves or designated as Natural Resources Conservation Areas (NRCAs) for low impact recreation – Commissioner Goldmark designated the 10,270-acre Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA in eastern King County.
- Managing through tough budgetary and market conditions – DNR restored positive balances in key operating funds through spending cuts, an 11.5 percent reduction in staff, and reorganization of internal management and reporting structures.
- Seeking out more opportunities to develop aquatic and dispersed upland resources and products – Agriculture, wild geoduck harvesting and other activities continued to show steady financial returns in contrast to the performance of timber products last year.
- Acquiring more than 48,000 acres of working forestland through exchanges and purchases – DNR’s acquisitions of forestland at risk of conversion to non-forestry uses included 8,000 acres along the Raging River in eastern King County.
The 2009 DNR Annual Report can be viewed online at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/em_annualreport09.pdf
DNR-managed state trust lands
DNR manages more than 5 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, and conservation lands. State trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s general fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat, and educational and recreational opportunities.
Media Contact: Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149; firstname.lastname@example.org
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