Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz
Hilary Franz was sworn in as Washington’s 14th Commissioner of Public Lands on January 11, 2017.
The Commissioner of Public Lands administers the state Department of Natural Resources and its 1,500 employees, directs the management of over 5.6 million acres of state-owned lands, supervises DNR's wildfire protection on millions of acres of state and private forestlands, and chairs the state’s Board of Natural Resources and the Forest Practices Board.
Prior to being elected, Commissioner Franz was executive director of Futurewise, an organization committed to implementing smart, sustainable land use and transportation policies. In this role, she brought together local governments, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups to protect the environment and grow strong local economies.
She served four years on the Bainbridge Island City Council, where she developed nationally-recognized energy and environmental policies and programs.
In addition, Hilary has served on numerous state and regional boards and commissions, working to strengthen and protect both the environment and local economies.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a juris doctor from Northeastern University Law School.
Hilary is a third-generation farmer and small forest landowner, and she is the mother of three wonderful sons, whom she raised on a small historic farm along with 12 sheep, 2 goats, 7 pigs, 3 cats, and 100 chickens.
Your Commissioner's Role
The Commissioner of Public Lands administers the state Department of Natural Resources and its 1,500 employees, directs the management of 5.6 million acres of state-owned lands, supervises DNR's wildfire protection on millions of acres of state and private forest lands and chairs the state’s Board of Natural Resources and the Forest Practices Board.
As such, the Commissioner oversees:
- 3 million acres of state trust lands that provide sustainable non-tax revenue for state and county services and public school construction projects.
- 2.6 million acres of aquatic lands to protect habitat while providing access to commerce, navigation and public uses. Trust lands (both uplands and aquatic) are simultaneously managed to provide vital habitat for many native plant and animal species, produce sustainable revenues for various beneficiaries and provide outdoor public recreation opportunities.
- The state's largest on-call fire department, responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands.
- The State Forester, who facilitates community wildfire preparedness resources and funding, as well as Washington's state-wide community forestry programs.
- The Washington State State Geologist and Washington State Geology Survey which produces maps and data used by researchers, geologists, civil engineers and planners to inform industry, community development and public safety.
- Washington's Natural Areas Program, which safeguards the finest remaining examples of native ecosystems in state ownership.
The Commissioner of Public Lands also facilitates:
- The Board of Natural Resources, which adopts policies, approves major commodity sales, and makes decisions about transactions of state lands managed by DNR. The Board, whose membership represents the major beneficiaries of state trust lands, also establishes sustainable harvest level for forested trust lands and other policies.
- The Forest Practices Board, which administers rules for activities that occur in Washington forests. These rules guide logging, road construction, brush control and other work in the woods to protect public safety and resources on about 12 million acres of state and privately owned forestlands.
Efforts Spearheaded by Commissioner Franz
- The Rural Communities Partnership Initiative
- The Forest Health Strategic Plan
- A Smart Carbon Policy for Washington Based on Four Resilience Principles
Connect With Hilary, Commissioner of Public Lands
Invite Commissioner Franz to a meeting or event.
Office of the Commissioner of Public Lands
Olympia, WA 98504-7001
Olympia, WA 98504-7001