Below are some of the timely issues WALT is working on, along with actions you can take to support land conservation in Washington.


ACTION ALERT

03/04/2019

Now is a critical time to weigh in about community forests

Late last week, the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed a community forest bill (SB 5873) with bipartisan support. Next up, this bill is headed to the Senate floor. Community forest support local engagement in the management and use of important working forestland, so this is a critical time to weigh in with your legislators about how this important tool would positively impact your community.

This version of SB 5873, championed by Senators Hawkins and Van De Wege, would create a pilot program to support the acquisition of community forestland by land trusts, tribes, and municipalities, and lay the groundwork for future work. This bill has momentum and has garnered support on both sides of the aisle, but it needs your support to make it to a full vote. This is our chance to advance community-based forestry and working forest protection in Washington State!

Your voice is needed at this critical time. Take a moment TODAY to call or email your Senator about SB 5873.

 

Nisqually Community Forest
Nisqually Community Forest
Contact your legislator

Find your Senator: Washington’s District Finder

 

Talking Points

Community Forest Talking Points

Community Forests One-Pager

 

Sample Language

Dear Senator [Name],

Community forests are working forests owned and managed by municipalities, government agencies, Tribes, and non-profit organizations for the benefit of local communities. I recognize that community forests offer a collaborative solution towards protecting Washington’s lands and communities.

Community forests keep the working landscape working by protecting important forestlands from conversion and development. These projects protect forest sector jobs while also securing conservation values of the land in perpetuity. In this way, community forests allow for people living in rural areas to participate in forest management decisions and long-term planning, promoting economic development while balancing multiple values for the benefit of the public.

[Use your own words to describe how a community forest would impact your district]

Supported by both Democrats and Republicans, we have the unique opportunity to support the continued growth and development of community forests by passing SB 5873. With support from the Washington Association of Land Trusts, the Washington Department of Natural Resources identified over 20 community forest projects that are seeking funding near term to support their land acquisition goals. However, existing state level funding programs are currently limited in their ability to meet this demand or to provide the right kind of funding that would allow for full-ownership of forestland by the local community.

We urge you to support legislation that would establish a pilot program for community forest funding meet this demand. Such a program would guide meaningful investment to communities in a way that protects jobs, lands, livelihoods, local business, and our quality of life.

Can I count on your support for SB 5873?

Same language courtesy of our partners at Washington Environmental Council

Getting Feedback

We would love to know if you are able to put a message in with your Senator, and what you hear back. You can reach WALT on the phone at (206) 274-2910, or via email at nick@walandtrusts.org .

 

 

 

ACTION ALERT

02/28/2019

Contact your legislators about WWRP

Right now, the State Legislature is in the midst of important budget negotiations, the outcome of which will impact the future of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), the state’s largest public funding source for outdoor community projects. We’re fighting for our goal of $130 million for the WWRP — but many critical projects will not be funded unless your legislators hear from you NOW.

This vital program needs your help. Please, tell your legislators that you support $130 Million for WWRP and Washington’s great outdoors.

 

Contact your legislator

Find your Senator: Washington’s District Finder

 

WWRP Background

Learn more about the WWRP, its twelve grant categories, and how it empowers communities

 

Sample Language

Dear Senator/Representative [Last Name]:

I’m reaching out today to urge you to fund the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP) at $130 million in the 2019-21 Capital Budget. The WWRP is a nationally recognized conservation and recreation grant program that has funded over 1,300 projects (including many in our district!) and leveraged over $1.4 billion statewide.

Increased funding for the WWRP is needed as Washington’s population is booming, wildlife habitat is threatened, and there is more demand for outdoor recreation than ever before. WWRP projects also address other state priorities including mental & physical health, childhood development & school performance, and salmon & orca recovery.

As an outdoor enthusiast, the WWRP is important to me and my community. I urge you to tell the Capital Budget-writer for your caucus that you want funding for projects in your district and $130 million for the WWRP.

Thank you for your support.

Language courtesy of our partners at the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition