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DNR: PUBLIC HEARINGS ON MAJOR FORESTRY PROPOSAL; STATE FOREST PRACTICES BOARD ENCOURAGES CITIZEN COMMENT

 DNR: PUBLIC HEARINGS ON MAJOR FORESTRY PROPOSAL;
 STATE FOREST PRACTICES BOARD ENCOURAGES CITIZEN COMMENT
 OLYMPIA, Wash., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Public hearings are scheduled April 21 to 25 on a comprehensive package of proposals that would substantially change the way forestry is practiced on 12 million acres of private and state forest land in Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said today. The Sustainable Forestry Plan has evolved over several years and has been the focus of the Forest Practices Board for the past year. It represents the most significant action in forest resource protection since the state Forest Practices Act was enacted in 1975.
 "This combination of proposals places Washington in the national forefront of forestry regulation," said Public Lands Commissioner Brian Boyle, who chairs the Forest Practices Board. "Rather than evaluating forest practices in isolation from each other, forest land regulation would shift to an unprecedented landscape-based system," Boyle said.
 The Sustainable Forestry Plan includes the following:
 - A measure to protect wetlands in forested areas;
 - A proposal to reduce the cumulative effects -- over time and
 space -- that logging and other forest practices have on the
 environment;
 - A way to restrict clearcut size and regulate the timing between
 adjacent clearcuts;
 - A measure to retain trees for wildlife, and a proposal for
 critical wildlife habitat;
 - An expansion of the list of forest practices that require State
 Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review;
 - A proposal that requires adequate shade for streams to protect
 fish;
 - A forest chemical proposal aimed at preventing water pollution
 and protecting public health.
 The public hearings will cover these proposed rules and the accompanying draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is responsible for enforcing rules the board adopts. Any rules the board adopts that relate to water quality also must be adopted by the Washington State Department of Ecology, which joins the board in these hearings. Two hearings will be held at each location:
 Spokane Tuesday, April 21 Holiday Inn
 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. 4212 Sunset Blvd.
 NOTE: The 1:30 p.m. hearing is reserved for
 testimony from organizations only.
 Yakima Wednesday, April 22 Cavanaugh's
 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. 607 E. Yakima Avenue
 Everett Thursday, April 23 Port of Everett Yacht Club
 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. 14th St. Marina
 Kelso Friday, April 24 Red Lion
 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. 510 Kelso Drive
 Ocean Shores/ Saturday, April 25 Ocean Shores Convention Cntr
 Grays Harbor 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 120 W. A La Mer
 NOTE: The 10 a.m. hearing is reserved for testimony
 from organizations only.
 Written testimony on the proposed rules and draft EIS will be accepted through April 30. Send comments to:
 Ed Summerfield
 Forest Practices Division - DNR
 P.O. Box 47012
 Olympia, WA 98504-7012
 The Sustainable Forestry Plan was made possible through the negotiated Timber/Fish/Wildlife accord of 1987. The nucleus of the plan originated in the Sustainable Forestry Roundtable (SFR), a 40-member group organized by Commissioner Boyle to tackle some of the most divisive natural resource issues in Washington state through a consensus approach. SFR included large and small landowners, representatives from the environmental community, Native American tribes, state agencies and counties. The Roundtable's negotiated agreement never was formally ratified, and the 1991 Legislature failed to adopt related legislation, so the Forest Practices Board stepped up to the challenge in May 1991.
 The 11-member board will meet May 13 to discuss changes to the proposals based on public comment and will schedule another opportunity for public input. The board hopes to adopt some form of its package of proposed rules at its June 26 meeting to take effect in late July.
 -0- 4/13/92
 NOTE TO EDITORS: For fact sheets that summarize each proposal of the Sustainable Forestry Plan, call the DNR Public Affairs Office, 206-753-5330.
 /CONTACT: Sandi Snell of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, 206-753-5330/ CO: Washington State Department of Natural Resources; Forest
 Practices Board ST: Washington IN: PAP SU:


LM-SC -- SE009 -- 8017 04/13/92 20:20 EDT
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Date:Apr 13, 1992
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