Today, I am pleased to endorse a Settlement Agreement to a legal challenge to Board of Natural Resources' Resolution 1134. Adopted in September 2004, the Resolution established a sustainable harvest level for western Washington state forest trustlands for FY 2005-2014.
The Agreement represents an appropriate tactical adjustment by the Board and the Department in response to emerging scientific information on the status of the northern spotted owl in western Washington. It is a modest and temporary expansion of additional protections for the owl that makes good economic and ecological sense. In short, it is a win for the owl and a win for the trust beneficiaries.
Of central importance is that all of the Board's strategic trustland management principles adopted in Resolution 1134 remain in force. Further, I understand that under the Agreement, future timber harvest levels, along with their associated economic and environmental impacts, are expected to meet, or exceed, those adopted by the Board in September 2004 as early as FY 2010 such that the total timber harvest for the FY 2005-2014 planning decade will achieve the 5.97 billion board feet goal as originally adopted in September 2004. Furrther, it is expected that over the 64 year planning horizon, the average annual timber harvest inherent in the Agreement will equal that established in Resolution 1134.
With the additional owl protections called for in the Agreement and the ability to meet our fiduciary obligations to the trusts per Resolution 1134, this is truly a win-win situation. I am pleased to support this Agreement.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean
Member, Board of Natural Resources