Viewpoints: Five years in, we’re still responding to Oso

When I was elected Commissioner of Public Lands in 2016, the pain and impact of Oso was still palpable at the Department of Natural Resources, the agency I lead, and in many ways still is. Hundreds of DNR employees were among the first responders, and they will always carry the memories of that fateful day … READ MORE

Methow Valley News
Ambitious state plan seeks money for firefighters, forest health

Washington needs additional firefighters and helicopters, accelerated forest-health programs, and better training for fire crews to confront the reality of more wildfires and longer fire seasons that now threaten all regions of the state. The state also needs to extend protection to rangeland that’s currently outside the jurisdiction of all firefighting agencies. These proposals are … READ MORE

Tacoma News Tribune
State throws its weight behind wildland firefighter who was detained by ICE

What Vazquez couldn’t have realized at the time was that only a year later that career would be jeopardized after his DACA status was rescinded. Eventually, Vazquez found himself hundreds of miles from home, detained at Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center and facing the very real prospect of deportation to a country he’s never known. Amidst … READ MORE

The Daily Astorian
Washington state lands commissioner touts Dreamers

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz on Tuesday sought to humanize the uncertain status of residents brought to the U.S. illegally as children. She was flanked at a press conference by Noe Vasquez and Christian Garcia Herrera, who are both 20 years old and graduates of Tonasket High School in north central Washington state . Both … READ MORE