BillTracker

Prioritizing lands to receive forest health treatments (Kretz, Springer, Pettigrew)

Requires the department of natural resources to: (1) Develop and implement a policy for prioritizing investments on forest health treatments in strategic defensible areas to protect public lands against losses from wildfire; and (2) Develop a prioritized list of parcels of state land that would benefit most from forest health treatments during the following six years.

1ST SUBSTITUTE COMPARED TO ORIGINAL (Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources):
The definition of "forest health treatment" is expanded to include sub-landscape assessment and project planning, site preparation, reforestation, mechanical treatments, road realignment for certain purposes, and prescribed burning for certain purposes. The list of parcels to be prioritized for treatment is expanded to include a 20 year list, as well as a six-year list and a two-year list. The Account is renamed the Forest Health Revolving Account in the State Treasury, which shall receive funds obtained from forest health treatments and which shall be used to fund treatments conducted to improve forest health..

2ND SUBSTITUTE (Appropriations) COMPARED TO 1ST SUBSTITUTE (Agriculture and Nat Resources):
The bill is null and void if specific funding is not provided in the operating budget.

EFFECT OF HOUSE STRIKER AMENDMENT:
Permits the department of natural resources to fund forest health treatments on nonstate-owned lands as long as the treatments are funded by nontrust funds and as long as the treatments produce a net benefit to the health of state lands and state forestlands. Makes the following changes to the forest health revolving account: Changes the limit on the amount of forest health proceeds that remain in the account from 20 million dollars to 10 million dollars, distributes any forest health proceeds in the account to trust beneficiaries in the event the account's use is discontinued, specifies that management and administrative costs are an allowable use, and specifies that forest health proceeds in the account are not distributed to the resource management cost account or forest development account.

EFFECT OF SENATE WAYS & MEANS STRIKER AMENDMENT: Makes the specific provisions of the act subject to available appropriated funds.

Hearing Date: Friday, March 31, 2017 -- 1:30 pm

WA State Legislature Link:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1711&Year=2017    (opens a new browser tab)