Legislature promotes timber industry as carbon-negative

Forestry advocate says the industry reduces state’s net carbon emissions by 12%

OLYMPIA — Washington state lawmakers have passed legislation that will align the timber and forestry sector with the state’s carbon emission goals.

The Senate voted 46-3 March 5 in favor of passing House Bill 2528, which would recognize the amount of carbon that trees absorb from the atmosphere and allow that amount to be accounted for after the potential implementation of a carbon emission tax. The House passed the measure in January in a 95-0 vote.

Cindy Mitchell, senior director of public affairs for Washington Forest Protection Association, said this law will help recognize the role forests — both public and private — play in reducing atmospheric carbon. Mitchell said the state’s 8 million privately owned acres of working forests account for a 12-percent annual reduction of the state’s carbon emissions.

The bill not only gives the timber and forestry industry a competitive edge against other carbon-emitting industries after implementation of a carbon fee, but it would also recognize the sector as one that reduces atmospheric carbon. And it directs the state Department of Commerce to promote timber and forestry products.

“There’s a longstanding presumption that timber harvesting and environmental protection are mutually exclusive, but the truth is just the opposite,” said Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, via a written statement.

“By aligning timber practices and cycles with the state’s carbon reduction goals, we can boost our rural economies and improve our environmental health at the same time.”

The bill will return to the House for concurrence with amendments made in the Senate before it makes its way to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk to be signed into law.

More in News

26 active cases of COVID-19 reported in Kitsap Thursday

So far, 18 positive cases have been reported in July

CHI Franciscan opens new Family Medicine Clinic

Clinic provides outpatient care such as obstetrics, pediatrics, sports health, addiction treatment.

Washington State Parks ‘roofed accommodations’ now available for rent

Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks & Recreation District cabins also available for rent

Demonstrators gather in downtown Poulsbo on July 3, the one year anniversary after the fatal police shooting of Stonechild Chiefstick. Photo Courtesy Suquamish Tribe
Memorial caravan honors Chiefstick on anniversary of fatal shooting

Exactly one year after Stonechild Chiefstick, of the Chippewa Cree tribe of… Continue reading

South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief Steve Wright has retired from the agency after 34 years of service in the county. He now is executive director of the Washington Fire Chiefs Association in Olympia. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News file photo)
Chief Wright retires, Jeff Faucett fills his boots at SKFR

Wright now leading Washington Fire Chief Association in Olympia

Small aircraft crashes near Mullenix Road in South Kitsap

Pilot trapped inside on-fire plane, taken to Harborview with critical injuries

Outbreaks a concern for board of health as cases rise in Kitsap

For the moment, Kitsap County is managing the COVID-19 pandemic, but worries… Continue reading

COVID-19 infections continue to rise in Kitsap County

22 active cases of COVID-19, 267 total infections since March

NKSD will use hybrid learning model next school year

Each school will split students into two groups for remote and in-person learning

Most Read