Here are the complete Inaugural Remarks of Peter Goldmark to the Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at the beginning of his second term as Commissioner of Public Lands:
Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands, delivers second inaugural address on Wednesday, January 16, 2013. Photo: Nancy Charbonneau/DNR.
Good afternoon, everyone and thank you, Lenny for that introduction and for your service to DNR and the state as Supervisor for the department. You have brought a keen understanding of many complex issues to your duties and have done a magnificent job of solving problems and providing leadership within the agency.
I would also like to thank the members of my family, who are here with us today.
It is both an honor and a privilege to be elected to a second term as Commissioner of Public Lands for the great State of Washington. We are fortunate to live and work in a state whose landscape is naturally beautiful and productive. Our state is replete with some of the earth’s most productive agricultural lands and is forested with the world’s premiere evergreen species in terms of both productivity and quality. I know this first-hand: by having lived and worked here almost all of my life; having climbed the tallest mountain; having hiked many, many miles over high mountain trails; and having visited nearly every corner of our state in both private and public life. We at DNR shoulder the responsibility of keeping these natural resources productive and beautiful for the future. Our legacy is to walk this line: to productively steward these precious natural resources in a manner that sustains a revenue stream for the trust beneficiaries and conserves that which is rare and wonderful.
Over the course of my first term in office, DNR has produced $921 million of non-tax revenue for education and other trust beneficiaries. These revenues flow mainly from timber harvested on state trust lands but also from geoduck and wheat sales. While revenue production for the trust beneficiaries is our primary mission, we also endeavor to maintain forest cover throughout the state. Thus, we have purchased 10,500 acres of lands threatened by development for working forest and permanently protected an additional 22,000 acres of land for conservation. This includes about 7,500 acres that comprise the newly designated Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area. This NRCA, home to many threatened and endangered species, is a unique landscape encompassing low-, mid-, and high-elevation forests, in a prime location to help meet both critical habitat needs and the growing demand for recreational opportunities.
We also reviewed over 17,000 Forest Practices Applications to ensure that rules are followed to protect aquatic resources during timber harvest and associated road construction on state and private lands.
Fire suppression is another huge responsibility at DNR. Over the past 4 years, we partnered with other jurisdictions to suppress 2,895 fires encompassing over 114,000 acres. This past fire season was particularly difficult due to very hot, dry conditions in August and September, together with a severe dry lightning storm on September 8th that sparked several hundred wildfires in eastern Washington. (more…)