State trust land management

Chucker

Chucking a dead parrot on a piece of string!
The economics of this was looked at years ago. As far as I recall, maintaining intact forest was worth more in just flood control than the total timber income. Once you consider the other benefits of having intact forests, it is a total no brained to leave them alone. But, the timber industry is politically very powerful....
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
I think we need to temper the discussion a little bit. It's been a long time since I studied this, but my recollection is that only some of the state trust lands are dedicated to schools. So there is that consideration. If much of the land is not part of the state school trust, why shouldn't we reconsider the management priority for those lands? (I think a significant % of the stumpage fees go to counties, and they would likely howl at the thought of having their sacred money fountain gored.

Then there are the designated school trust lands. Revenues recovered from those lands are for building schools, not day to day operations and maintenance, IIRC. I have thought for many years that it is silly in modern times to consider our state so dependent on cutting trees to build new schools. It worked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries because the timber revenue was large relative to the population of children needing schools. With a human population now of around 7 million, who among us can't see that the timber revenue equation has changed quite dramatically. Further, do you suppose that the good people of Kansas and Nebraska, etc., would link themselves to state timber revenue in order to build a school? Of course not; if they did they would have only a couple 2-room schools for the entire state.

Levies and bonds are how we build schools in WA state these days and have for a long time. Weaning us from state school trust timber revenue is quite literally a drop in the bucket. And it is well past time to updating the management priorities for both our state and federal forest lands. In this I am not anti-timber, but I think having timber revenue as the number one management priority is very much out of step with contemporary societal needs, which include intact ecosystems in key watersheds. And the Stillaguamish basin would make a good poster child for that cause.
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
Can the Stillaguamish even be returned to 1/4 of its former self in the next 1000yrs? I dont see how it can ever be turned around with out some serious dredging, adding channels, dike removals and riparian work costing billions considering how bad a state it is in.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
The Stilly watershed can recover if we choose to let it. It will never be the same as it was, but given enough time mainly, and if we stop continuing to damage it, forests will grow, soils will stabilize as well as they ever have, and in some cases better than they were before as some of the slopes become less steep. If we can do that, which is doubtful, the hydrograph will better normalize to changing climate conditions. So it won't ever be its former self, but it could become its best possible self. And that would produce fish.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
Hi SG,
Your argument makes perfect sense if a scientific approach to restoring fish habitat were the only consideration. And the relatively small amount of money generated for public schools and other beneficiaries (see https://www.dnr.wa.gov/beneficiaries) could be replaced by other sources from the General Fund, especially at a time of relative economic prosperity in the state. And with the stated intentions by many in government of providing relief for Southern Resident Killer Whales.

But it aint gonna happen. As I see it, the biggest challenge to this solution will come from the small logging towns in rural Western Washington that depend on harvesting this timber for their livelihood. Rural communities (and their legislators) will fight this tooth and nail because they can't see what is in it for them. What do they get out of this, except unemployment and further erosion of local economies? And I can't see what you could offer these communities that would offset this.

It becomes a classic case of a small, clearly-identified group with a lot to lose against a larger community that see a vague benefit. The entrenched self-interest trumps a dispersed global good. I can't see any politician putting their neck out to do this.

Steve, the pessimist.
 

Chic Worthing

Active Member
WFF Supporter
The United lands system of land division was based on the Township and Range
system.

The range Lines were North and South and one mile apart and the Range lines were likewise 6 miles apart and in a southerly direction. It creates an individual a square of property with 36 sections (one mile by one mile). Section 16 and 36 were awarded to the school systems of the state.

Many of the school systems sold their land but many held onto them, The department of Natural Resources was formed to administered those properties. That may be in the form of leasing lands to ranchers or farmers or allowing timber sales on timbered lands. I do not know what the OP had in mind but it most likely has the fabled snow ball in chance.

One advantage of this system is that the property is open to the public for hunting and fishing.


















the
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
Can the Stillaguamish even be returned to 1/4 of its former self in the next 1000yrs? I dont see how it can ever be turned around with out some serious dredging, adding channels, dike removals and riparian work costing billions considering how bad a state it is in.
Damm your a Debbie downer, I was going to make some flys for the great steelhead comeback now I’m going to use the feathers to make cat toys
 

Thrasybulus

I practice social distancing

20200223_204145.jpg

The Clearwater River system is mostly state trust lands. You could propose adding it all to Olympic National Park for maximum protection and restoration.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
If you value education you should smoke and drink as the sin taxes support the school system
I do my share. I might even add some more to the pot if there wasn’t a monopoly on gaming.
If you are interested in learning more about how the state might further that monopoly, look at what is going on with HB 2638.

For a state that always complains about not having enough funding for various things they sure know how to give it away.
SF
 
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Smalma

Active Member
Thanks to all for your thoughtful comments!

A couple addition comments/clarifications

It is pretty clear that to date efforts to recovery ESA listed Puget Sound steelhead, Chinook, bull trout or southern resident killer whales (SRKW) is failing. The abundances and diversity continues to decline more or less across the board. To that point every 5 years NMFS provides a status review of how the populations are doing. With the continuing population declines it would not be surprising that the next review (due in 2021) will find the status of either the Chinook and steelhead has deteriorated to an "endangered" status from the previous "threatened" status and it would declines continue it will be a near certainty to see that status change in 2026.

I have always assumed that in change in the use of these "trust lands" managed by DNR will require legislative action. I still feel that restoring functioning process in a basins headwaters by along the development of mature forests on public lands is an essentially restoration action it maybe the most economic - larger bangs for public dollars. It should also be noted that any meaningful restoration will affect some user group and the cost will in one way or another be passed on the State's citizens.

I think it is now clearly by far the dominate limiting factor on the various Puget Sound listed stocks are habitat related. It is always popular to advocate for lower fishing rates as a pathway to recovery. In the past reductions in fishing rates have resulted in what has been short term increases in spawning abundance. Unfortunately as evidenced by the continued declines in abundance that those short term impact gains are being quickly consumed by continued habitat degradation producing a steady decrease both the carrying capacity and productivity. At the time of the Chinook listing the argument was that reducing fishing would buy time for habitat restoration efforts to get off the ground. Clearly those 20 years of time bought has been wasted.

The bottom line is if restoration efforts are going to continued be limited/compromised because of cost or impacts on some habitat user concerns it is clear that "extinction is now the preferred option." Without a dramatic change in that restoration paradigm it is time to admit defeat; that is we as a society are not willing to pay the price to restore those ESA listed populations.

Curt
 

smc

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Thanks to all for your thoughtful comments!

A couple addition comments/clarifications

It is pretty clear that to date efforts to recovery ESA listed Puget Sound steelhead, Chinook, bull trout or southern resident killer whales (SRKW) is failing. The abundances and diversity continues to decline more or less across the board. To that point every 5 years NMFS provides a status review of how the populations are doing. With the continuing population declines it would not be surprising that the next review (due in 2021) will find the status of either the Chinook and steelhead has deteriorated to an "endangered" status from the previous "threatened" status and it would declines continue it will be a near certainty to see that status change in 2026.

I have always assumed that in change in the use of these "trust lands" managed by DNR will require legislative action. I still feel that restoring functioning process in a basins headwaters by along the development of mature forests on public lands is an essentially restoration action it maybe the most economic - larger bangs for public dollars. It should also be noted that any meaningful restoration will affect some user group and the cost will in one way or another be passed on the State's citizens.

I think it is now clearly by far the dominate limiting factor on the various Puget Sound listed stocks are habitat related. It is always popular to advocate for lower fishing rates as a pathway to recovery. In the past reductions in fishing rates have resulted in what has been short term increases in spawning abundance. Unfortunately as evidenced by the continued declines in abundance that those short term impact gains are being quickly consumed by continued habitat degradation producing a steady decrease both the carrying capacity and productivity. At the time of the Chinook listing the argument was that reducing fishing would buy time for habitat restoration efforts to get off the ground. Clearly those 20 years of time bought has been wasted.

The bottom line is if restoration efforts are going to continued be limited/compromised because of cost or impacts on some habitat user concerns it is clear that "extinction is now the preferred option." Without a dramatic change in that restoration paradigm it is time to admit defeat; that is we as a society are not willing to pay the price to restore those ESA listed populations.

Curt
Thanks for this discussion Curt. Specific to your example of the Stillaguamish basin; Darrington is a mill town, and Hampton is the mill.

Maybe one path forward would be to contact them. They do have a Collaborative process in place for stewardship projects. This is NOT the solution, but it may lead to something other than an admission of defeat.

Perhaps it would be worth your time to investigate:

Hamptons Collaborative Forestry Manager, Anjolene Price: https://www.hamptonlumber.com/collaborative-forestry/

More info about the Darrington Collaborative: http://www.darringtoncollaborative.org/
 

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