Protecting state’s forestlands from urban sprawl, and removing derelict vessel hazards from waterways

forest
Photo: DNR.

Two measures making their way through the legislative process in Olympia set their sights on protecting forestland from conversion to other uses and protecting the state’s waterways from the dangers of derelict vessels.

An editorial earlier this week in the The Olympian —  Bill would protect state’s forest lands from urban sprawl — describes Senate Bill 5272 (and its companion proposal, House Bill 1421). The measures would create a new Community Forest Trust managed by DNR.

The new trust would target small forested areas at threat of conversion to other uses. Local community and conservation needs would guide the forests’ management. They would need only to produce enough revenue to be self-sustaining entities.

Derelict vessel bill

Also this week, an editorial in the North Kitsap Herald Tougher stand needed against derelict vessels — describes Senate Bill 5271 and companion measure House Bill 1322. The two measures aim to beef up the Derelict Vessel Removal Program, which DNR operates, and hold boat owners more accountable for watercraft they abandon or neglect to the point of becoming environmental or navigational hazards. The measure also would provide local governments handling derelict vessel removal a level of immunity from legal liability similar to that of emergency responders.

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