On Earth Day and every day, DNR celebrates its work protecting, conserving and ensuring responsible use of the planet’s natural resources. It’s in our name.
As manager of 5.6 million acres of Washington, DNR’s business is in the earth. Through sustainable management of Washington’s natural resources, DNR has generated more than $8 billion for schools and communities since the first Earth Day in 1970.
Produce and timber sprout from soil on state-owned lands and help build Washington schools and communities. Forests, trails and hills make up the state’s greatest playground. Tidelands provide habitat for shellfish and forage fish that support families and the aquatic food web. Trees and eelgrass are tremendous sponges for carbon emissions, trapping gasses from the atmosphere.
So here are the “Great Eight” things for which DNR thanks the planet on Earth Day and for which we work to protect and improve across Washington’s public lands every day.
- Washington’s greatest playground: With over 1,000 miles of trails and 160 recreation spots, state lands provide countless opportunities to explore and enjoy the forest ecosystems on our slice of earth.
- Preserving natural areas: Some of the best remaining examples of natural Washington, including native ecosystems, plants and animals, are under DNR’s care. DNR protects about 60,000 acres of old-growth forest, the biologic “blueprints” of Washington’s natural history.
- Precious tidelands: Washington’s aquatic lands are the foundation of a complex and interdependent ecosystem and economy. DNR ensures these special places are available for all of Washington to use and enjoy.
- Protecting the resource: As Washington’s largest on-call fire department, DNR deploys 1,200 permanent and temporary employees to limit fire damage on more than 13 million acres of private and state-owned forest lands.
- Constant study: Home to the Washington Geologic Survey, DNR has more information than anyone else about how our constantly-changing terrain shapes the way we live.
- Ensuring healthy forests: Some of the world’s best scientists are at DNR, researching how trees, bugs, fungi, fire and water interact so our forests can be their healthiest.
- Growing Washington: Produce and cattle that come from more than 1.1 million acres of sustainably-managed trust lands provide farming and grazing opportunities and fund public school construction.
- Restoring natural function: DNR works hard to ensure aquatic environments function in the healthy ways they have for millions of years by removing toxic debris, re-vegetating environments and removing derelict vessels that threaten wild habitat.
You can help us ensure Washington’s wild and wondrous landscape continues to provide education, opportunity and enjoyment for generations to come by signing up as one of our volunteers.
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