Goldmark on challenges of climate change to state’s natural resources: ‘Our work is cut out for us’

The forest health crisis affecting tree stands in several Eastern Washington counties, and the negative impact of climate change on Washington State aquatic resources, including Puget Sound and other waterways, were among the points raised by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark in his second inaugural remarks last week.

Ocean acidification and Puget Sound: “The marine waters of Puget Sound are becoming more acidic, as are all marine waters around the globe. This acidification is threatening the state’s shellfish industry because more acidic water interferes with normal shellfish growth, particularly at early developmental stages… The effect of acidification on the wild geoduck fishery that we manage is unknown. Many state and tribal and programs depend on the revenue derived from this fishery, so not unlike our forests, careful scientific analysis followed by appropriate management actions must be taken.”

Forest health: ” A changing climate together with insect infestations and overstocked stands have created a forest health crisis that requires swift action…  Forests that have been treated and restored by thinning are more resilient to drought and disease while also being less susceptible to catastrophic fire damage. There is an urgent need to continue this work in the years ahead.”

View video of Commissioner Goldmark’s address to DNR staff on January 16.

Read the full text of Commissioner Goldmark’s address.

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