It’s time for a logging moratorium in our state forests (especially Capitol Forest) effective immediately for activities within 200 feet of established recreational trails.
Our state forests are supposed to work for everyone, not just the timber companies. The Department of Natural Resources states it’s to “manage state trust lands for the people of Washington… to generate revenue and preserve forests, water, and habitat.” Over the last several years, over half of Capitol Forest’s “green” (non-motorized) recreational trails have been permanently closed and/or logged. None is more dramatic than from Wedekind to Porter where its about 80 percent. Vast Porter Trail stretches have been transformed to barren wastelands for at least a generation on what was a wooded trail gem only a couple years ago. Once useable winter trails are no longer -- and more is currently being logged and slated for logging!
Why our permanent recreation trails cannot be preserved with 200-foot no-logging buffers on each side is unimaginable and just lazy. Providing permanent buffers will provide habitat corridors, better water quality, uninterrupted woodland recreational opportunities, and more forest diversity.
DNR needs to get its act together to manage natural resources for all -- including those purchasing an annual pass to enjoy natural resources. Our state trust lands should be examples of innovation and sustainable resource harvest practices which support joint uses for this and future generations.
Governor, since you’re an avid cyclist and outdoors person, I encourage you to challenge the status quo, state agencies and legislature to make our state forests work for everyone.