Washington lands commissioner race draws crowd of Democrats – Cascadia Weekly

An interesting race is shaping up for Lands Commissioner. The good news is that no matter which of the Democrats win, if they do win, they all are standing for change in DNR. It’s been an organization with a very wide charter, that needs revamping to continue to work effectively in an era of dwindling resources, global warming that is helping to fuel massive wildfires beyond the ability of DNR to manage, and a misguided charter to cut trees to fund our schools. The best thing that could happen, but won’t , is to revamp our state tax system to alleviate the need for DNR to have to cut trees to fund schools.

This fall’s race for Washington’s commissioner of public lands—an office that oversees the state’s largest firefighting force and 5.6 million acres of land—is hotly contested since no incumbent is on the ballot. Commissioner Peter Goldmark will not seek reelection to the quietly influential office. As the head of the state’s Department of Natural Resources, the commissioner is responsible for healthy public aquatic lands, forests, parks and more. The department leases land to provide critical school construction money, and its firefighting efforts are a key line of defense against destructive summertime wildfires, too. The department has a big influence on fishing, timber and agriculture—three classic Washington industries threatened by drought, wildfires and ocean acidification that could be worsened by climate change. So far, Democrats make up the bulk of the hopefuls to replace Goldmark. Walter Orenstein reports. (Cascadia Weekly)


2 Responses

  1. I keep looking for endorsements from Sierra and other groups

    Sent from Austin’s iPhone


    • I have not heard who, if any, these groups are going to endorse. There are local Sierra Club endorsements (I’ve been on the endorsing committee in the past), State and National. As to other groups, some NGOs don’t want to endorse as to not to alienate their donors. If I see an endorsement, I’ll add it to the list.

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