Washington DNR expands Forest Health Advisory Committee roster to better represent tribes and general public; committee now accepting applications through Dec. 27 to fill up to 25 seats beginning in 2024

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

December 15, 2023 (press release) –

New committee structure includes up to 25 members; applications will be accepted through December 27
 
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources Forest Health Advisory Committee is accepting applications through December 27 to fill up to 25 seats on the committee beginning in 2024.
 
The updated charter states the Forest Health Advisory Committee (FHAC) will include at least three members who represent Washington Tribes. The existing committee counts one Tribal representative among its 19 active members.
 
For the first time since its inception in 2017, the FHAC will also include a member of the public to represent community-level interests as they relate to wildfire preparedness, forest health, and environmental justice.
 
“The Forest Health Advisory Committee fills a critical role in our all lands, all hands approach to solving our forest health crisis,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “We all have an interest in keeping the Evergreen State evergreen. Receiving input from a diverse group of stakeholders helps ensure every voice is heard.”
 
The FHAC meets quarterly to provide guidance and advice to the Commissioner of Public Lands and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the development and implementation of efforts to improve forest health conditions in Washington regardless of ownership, and to make forests more resilient to wildfire, drought, and other disturbances.
 
Current FHAC members worked this year to revise the committee charter to refine the organizational structure and composition of the committee. The new charter not only updates the list of represented groups to better reflect the diversity of stakeholders in the work of DNR, but how many representatives from each group are desired for a committee roster of no more than 25 members.
 
The list of constituencies with representation on the FHAC include, but are not limited to forest collaboratives, environmental groups, small forest landowners, industrial landowners, wildland fire response organizations, and academic institutions.
 
“Our Forest Health Advisory Committee has provided valuable recommendations that have informed and driven our programmatic work,” said Forest Resilience Division Manager Jen Watkins. “These charter revisions will only help our committee to be more transparent and inclusive to all of Washington. I’m looking forward to working with an expanded group of subject matter experts and people excited to see our forests restored to their historically resilient state.”
 
Interested parties can apply using the DNR online application portal managed by the agency Boards and Commissions team. All applications will be evaluated and reviewed by DNR staff and a nominations subcommittee. Anyone with questions about the application process should email jennifer.watkins@dnr.wa.gov
 
 
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MEDIA CONTACT
Will Rubin
Communications Manager
Cell: 360-764-0854
will.rubin@dnr.wa.gov 

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