Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz was flanked by climate scientists, legislators, and local officials as she unveiled the agency’s Plan for Climate Resilience at a Thursday press conference.
The plan details the deleterious implications of climate change for Washington State and offers potential strategies for mitigating them.
Across the state, we are seeing and feeling the impacts of climate change,” said Commissioner Franz, head of DNR. “Wildfire and smoke threaten public health. Orca and salmon runs are in decline. Communities are confronting flooding, water shortages, and drought. As stewards and beneficiaries of our lands and waters, we need to take action now. This plan is our blueprint for the future – our enduring commitment that our children and grandchildren will be able to benefit from Washington’s forests, farms and waters like we have.”
The resilience plan details priority responses for DNR’s programs in several resource areas, such as: Forest management; Agriculture, Grazing, and Leased Trust Upland Management; Ecosystem Conservation, Natural Areas, and Natural Heritage Programs; Aquatic Resources and Coastal Management; Landslides, Tsunami, Groundwater, and the Washington Geological Survey; Wildfire Management; and Recreation.
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The plan also designates emissions reductions and carbon sequestration and storage targets in order to reduce the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The targets align with that of the Paris Agreement, from which the United States withdrew in 2017.
The plan comes after Commissioner Franz issued a Commissioner’s Order directing agency leadership and staff to incorporate climate change considerations into relevant decisions, policies, procedures.
Over the next several months, DNR said it “will hold community conversations throughout the state to discuss how to implement the actions in the plan in ways that are just and equitable.”