Commissioner of Public Lands Announces Rural Communities Partnership Initiative
News Date: 
June 6, 2017

Commissioner to embark on statewide tour

The Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz announced today the launch of the Rural Communities Partnership Initiative, an ongoing program that will partner DNR assets and expertise with communities around the state to create new economic opportunities, especially in areas of the state that have traditionally depended on the natural resources industry.
“The land feeds us in so many ways and we need to nurture it so that it will continue to provide for us far into the future,” Commission Franz said, “We will bring innovation and partnership to get the most value out of those public lands for our communities’ quality of life, even as we sustain these landscapes. This approach replaces the outmoded paradigm of ‘economy OR environment’ with ‘economy AND environment.’”
The Commissioner will embark on a two-day tour to visit five communities around the state that are engaging in new and innovative development projects with the support of the Department of Natural Resources, community groups and local businesses. The Commissioner will be joined by Josh Wilund, Department of Natural Resources Community Development Director, who will oversee the initiative, as well as DNR region staff, community groups, local legislators and local businesses.
The tour will highlight projects currently in development and will also serve as a standing invitation to communities all around the state to partner with the Department of Natural Resources on potential development projects. The initiative focuses on stimulating local economies in sustainable, clean ways. From innovative farming methods to forest restoration to recreation to clean energy, no prospective project is too small for consideration. Suggestions and inquiries for those interested in the program can be made at
“The Department of Natural Resources plays a significant role in economies and communities around the state, yet we have the capacity to do considerably more. We bring a significant amount knowledge, expertise, assets and the ability to convene many groups – local, state, federal, tribal and private. This initiative will push for innovation and opportunity. We think it’s time to explore what’s possible in Washington State and we aren’t afraid to try and on occasion, fail. The will to try new things and our commitment to the communities we live in is what sets our work apart,” says Commissioner Franz.


JUNE 7, 2017
County leadership, local business, federal representatives and state legislators.
Trico EDC Building
9 to 10:30 a.m.
986 South Main Street, Suite A, 
Community leadership, state legislators
2:30 to 4 p.m.
Walter Clore Center
2140 A Wine Country Road, Prosser
JUNE 8, 2017
Willapa Bay:
Community leadership, regional businesses and local and state legislators
Pacific County EDC 
7:30 to 9 a.m.
Gray’s Harbor College, Riverview Campus
600 Washington Ave, Raymond
Port Angeles:
Community leadership
12:30 to 2 p.m.
Clallam County Courthouse
223 E 4th Street, Port Angeles
Community leadership, local and state legislators, local businesses
4:30 to 6 p.m.
Darrington Community Center
570 Sauk Ave., Darrington
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Cori Simmons 
Communications Director