New Report Outlines Significant Economic Opportunities Generated By DNR Salmon Recovery and Forest Health Restoration
News Date: 
February 14, 2022
   

Ahead of the release of DNR’s Watershed Resilience Action Plan, report findings show that restoring public lands and waters has the potential to bolster Washington’s workers and environment

 
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released a new report Monday that identifies an abundance of economic opportunities related to its strategies for salmon recovery and forest health in Washington. The report release comes one day before Commissioner Franz unveils her new plan for restoring and recovering salmon habitat throughout the Snohomish River.
 
The economic analysis performed by RTI International, in conjunction with the U.S. Climate Alliance, DNR, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, found that for every dollar spent on salmon recovery in the Snohomish River Watershed, 77 cents become wages for a Washington resident. For every dollar spent on forest health, 78 cents supports income for a Washington resident.
 
DNR’s full and accelerated implementation of the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan: Eastern Washington and Watershed Resilience Action Plan could support as many as 2,932 jobs and $131.3 million in income generated for Washington residents.
 
The study also found that every $1 million spent on forest health in Washington supports more than 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs, from on-the-ground implementation to positions along the supply chains and in nearby communities. Spending $1 million annually on salmon recovery projects identified using DNR’s new beta WatershedConnect tool for the Snohomish watershed would support nearly 15 FTE jobs.
 
“This report strengthens what I’ve long believed. Fast, bold action to address critical threats like unhealthy forests and degraded salmon habitat can be a win-win for our environments and our economies,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, the elected official who oversees DNR. “Ambitious actions are what our forests, our watersheds, our communities and our climate need. This report proves that protecting and restoring our natural resources on a larger scale will create more jobs, strengthen rural economies, and makes our state stronger.”
 
Commissioner Franz will join state, local, and Tribal leaders involved in Snohomish County salmon recovery at the Port of Everett tomorrow to unveil the Watershed Resilience Action Plan. The plan follows an innovative Tree to Sea approach to restoring salmon habitat in the Snohomish River Watershed.
 
WHEN:         Tuesday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m.
 
WHERE:        Port of Everett, Boxcar Park
         1200 Millwright Loop West
          Everett, WA 98201
 
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz released her 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan in October 2017. According to data compiled in October 2021, DNR and its partners have completed 363,000 acres of forest health treatments in central and eastern Washington – about 30 percent of the 1.25 million acres targeted for restoration by 2037.
 
DNR has secured a historic $500 million investment from the state legislature for forest health treatments, community resilience, and wildfire prevention through House Bill 1168 last year.
 
This legislative session, the agency is working to secure additional funding to protect and restore 10,000 acres of kelp and eelgrass meadows, which are essential habitats for salmon, as well as funding to expand the Derelict Vessel Removal Program. In addition, DNR is seeking funding to retain and add Puget SoundCorps crews that will restore habitat, reduce wildfire danger, enhance salmon recovery, protect recreational opportunities, and develop into future leaders of Washington’s natural resource industries.
 
The full report can be found HERE.
 
Members of the press interested in attending the event should RSVP to joe.smillie@dnr.wa.gov to receive additional location details.
 
COVID-19 mitigation: All media personnel are encouraged to both bring and wear a face mask, and practice social distancing measures.
Please do not attend this event if you have a fever, cough, experience shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, or have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
 
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MEDIA CONTACTS
Joe Smillie
DNR Communications Manager
Cell: 360-688-3392
 
Will Rubin
DNR Communications Manager
Cell: 360-764-0854