Buck bill eyes Forest Review Council

February 24th, 2005


(Olympia) -- The state House Committee has approved legislation aimed at strengthening Washington's forest products industry.

Substitute House Bill 1985, a bipartisan proposal sponsored by 24th District Representative Jim Buck of Joyce would create the Future of Washington Forests Review Council.

It would be a high-profile panel of state elected officials, fiscal analysts and DNR staff. The council would evaluate the status of the industry and develop policy recommendations to improve its long-term growth potential. Council membership would include the governor, lieutenant governor and lands commissioner, with staff support from the Office of Financial Management, the Department of Natural Resources, and the governor's office.

The council would also have the option of forming technical advisory committees to assist with the completion of its tasks. Among its directives, the proposal would require the council to commission an update of the Timber Supply Study produced by the University of Washington in 1992.

The council would also start an independent assessment of the economic contributions of the forest products industry and a comparison of Washington's forest products industry with those in other states.

The proposed panel would produce an evaluation of the current and potential roles of non-federal forests in Washington, their contributions to the state's economy, recreational and environmental quality of life and rural vitality over the coming 50 years.



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