By Alexander Harris, Land and Water Policy Manager
Good news! The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) just announced that they’re pausing the Brokedown Palace Timber Sale for a second time. This pause will allow time for this mature, naturally-regenerated forest to be evaluated for protection under Washington’s new Climate Commitment Act (CCA) program.
Back in May, Whatcom County Council sent a letter to DNR asking the agency to pause the Brokedown Palace Timber Sale. They were also asking for greater co-management of the county trustlands that DNR manages on behalf of Whatcom County. Notably, Whatcom County was the first county in the state to ask that DNR utilize the new CCA program to protect mature stands with high conservation value while making sure replacement lands are acquired and managed for trust beneficiaries.
A few weeks ago, the Brokedown Palace Timber Sale cleared the last regulatory hurdle required prior to auction. We weren’t sure whether DNR would heed Whatcom County Council’s request for a pause, or if the agency would pursue its original plan to auction the forest off to logging companies this summer. Over the weekend, Cascadia Daily News broke the story that DNR had decided to pause the sale!
We couldn’t have achieved this without supporters like you lending their voices! Our community is calling for improved logging practices on our public lands, and DNR is already beginning to respond to the pressure. There’s more work ahead as we seek to protect Brokedown Palace and mature forests like it. Stay tuned for more actions calling for better balance in how we manage forests on state trustlands.