Message from Tami Miketa, Manager of the SFLO

House Bill 2238, Environmental Mitigation, gets signed into law!

On March 23rd I was proud and honored to represent the Small Forest Landowner Office at Governor Christine Gregoire’s signing of House Bill 2238. This bill signing is important to small forest landowners because it will help to increase the funding for our grant and cost-share programs – the Forestry Riparian Easement Program, the Rivers and Habitat Open Space Program, and the Family Forest Fish Passage Program.

The legislation was sponsored by Representative J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm. It allows public and private entities who propose large construction projects (like highways, marine terminals, and utility corridors) to provide environmental mitigation payments to state programs designed to protect riparian zones, improve fish passage and encourage open space habitat.

In short, this creates a new funding source for our small forest landowner programs! The state departments of Fish and Wildlife and Ecology will be reporting back to the state Legislature by the end of this year on the merits of this bill. I will certainly keep you informed on this progress.