Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hillary Franz is hopeful state lawmakers will approve a new funding source that would raise 62.5 million dollars per year for fund wildfire suppression.
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
It would be the first time for Washington to dedicate funding for wildfire suppression and forest health, according to Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz. The money raised would fund Franz’s 10-year plan to combat wildfires.
The day the bill was introduced, Wire reporter Sara Gentzler talked to Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz about why the Department of Natural Resources feels the funding source is needed, how the money would be used, and where the money would come from.
In 2018, the state Department of Natural Resources responded to more than 1,850 wildfires, a record high. Across Washington, 440,000 acres burned.
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
For the state’s Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, the smoky air that continues to choke the Inland Northwest each summer is a sign that Washington will have to battle wildfires independently in the future.
We have a forest health crisis in our state. This forest health crisis is leading to more catastrophic wildfires. As a result, our summer skies are filled with smoke much of the summer, forcing coaches to cancel baseball and soccer games and parents to keep their children indoors.
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have realized at the time was that only a year later that career would be jeopardized after his DACA status was rescinded.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
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