Washington state’s forestlands got a break this summer with limited damage from wildfires, following two record-breaking years of wildfires. In 2015 alone, wildfires burned more than a million acres and resulted in the deaths of three members of a U.S. Forest Service firefighting crew near Twisp.
The office of state Commissioner of Public Lands is a bit more complicated than it sounds. The commissioner leads the Department of Natural Resources, which manages more than 5 million acres of forests, controls the state’s largest fire department, and provides about $200 million each year to schools through timber sales and the leasing of … READ MORE
Hilary Franz may seem normal at first, but if you get her talking about public lands, sustainability, urban sprawl, and climate change, she turns into ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE HULK. In a good way. A great way. Franz is the executive director of statewide environmental group Futurewise, wants to invest in clean-energy jobs, and opposes dangerous crude-by-rail … READ MORE
Hilary Franz is a favorite of Seattle environmentalists, backed in her campaign for commissioner of public lands by one of the founders of Earth Day and a director of Patagonia. Steve McLaughlin, her opponent, comes from a ranching background and is retired from a 25-year career in the miliary. The two are vying on the … READ MORE
Democrat Hilary Franz, a Seattle environmental attorney and activist, narrowly wins our endorsement because of her extensive knowledge of state policies, her energetic advocacy and her pledge to uphold the state’s forest-trust-land program.
Among Washington’s nine statewide elected executive offices are three that perform key functions in the day-to-day lives of the state’s residents. Perhaps the most visible, especially as the Legislature grapples with school funding and charter school issues, is the nonpartisan superintendent of public instruction. Two other offices — commissioner of public lands and insurance commissioner … READ MORE
This week, if she’s lucky, Hilary Franz may get to summit the Oyster Dome and view the forested trust lands of Blanchard Mountain in autumn. In November, she may become responsible for that expanse and many others as the 14th Commissioner of Public Lands. As the head of the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), … READ MORE
Washington schools get critical funding from state trust lands, which is why public lands commissioner might be the most undervalued position on the ballot. The next commissioner, who will replace incumbent Peter Goldmark, must fight to preserve Washington’s natural resources while maximizing public revenue from millions of acres of state-owned forests, shorelines, farmlands and commercial … READ MORE
The next Washington state commissioner of public lands will inherit a handful of natural-resource challenges in a world that also must adapt to climate change. Democrat Hilary Franz and Republican Steve McLaughlin bring different backgrounds and skills to that task. Based on her long experience working on land-use issues from the community and environmentalist sides, … READ MORE
The statewide primary election ballot that just arrived in your mail is filled with very familiar names. Gov. Jay Inslee has run twice for the Legislature, seven times (six successfully) for Congress, and is making his third run for governor. Sen. Patty Murray is seeking her fifth term in the U.S. Senate. U.S. Rep. Adam … READ MORE