In this issue: Lands Commissioner Election Upcoming, Stinson Scholarship Recipients, and Upcomng Events
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Lands Commissioner Race Crucial in Upcoming Primary

Commissioner of Public Lands - 4-year term   |  There are seven candidates running for Commissioner of Public Lands. Current Commissioner, Peter Goldmark, is not running for re-election. The Commissioner leads the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He or she will influence the agency budget, staffing, priorities and more. The candidates are listed below in alphabetical order by party.

Hilary Franz         (Democrat)      Seattle         
Karen Porterfield     (Democrat)      Seattle         
John Stillings         (Democrat)      Seattle         
Dave Upthegrove    (Democrat)      Seattle         
Mary Verner        (Democrat)      Spokane     
Steven M. Nielson     (Libertarian)     Port Orchard     
Steve McLaughlin     (Republican)     Seabeck       

Primary election ballots will be mailed to you July 15. They must be returned by August 2. You can return your ballot via mail or place it in a drop box. The top two finishers in the primary election will advance to the general election, November 8.  

Each candidate has a website and a Facebook page that describes their priorities and who has endorsed them. You can learn a lot about a candidate by who endorses them.

Here are a few highlights about each candidate:

Hilary Franz is an Environmental Attorney and Executive Director of Futurewise. She formerly served as a Bainbridge Island city council member, and was on the board of Washington Environmental Council. Her primary concern is climate change.

Karen Porterfield is on the Faculty of Seattle University where she teaches graduate level classes in the Masters of Public Administration program. Prior to that, she spent 13 years as the Director of Development for the Salvation Army in Seattle. At a recent candidate forum, she emphasized increasing revenue through eco-tourism and stated that the department should not rely on cutting trees for revenue.

John Stillings was the coxswain of the US men's rowing team in the 1984 Olympics. He is now a painter.

Dave Upthegrove is currently a King County Councilman. He served in the State House of Representatives for 12 years where he chaired the Environment Committee.

Mary Verner was formerly the Executive Director of the Upper Columbia United Tribes, then mayor of Spokane. She has served as Deputy Supervisor for Resource Protection at DNR since 2013. Her primary responsibility is managing fires.

Steven Nielson is an Aeronautical Engineer and is Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Washington State. In a recent candidate forum, he emphasized less regulation.

Steve McLaughlin served 25 years in the Navy. His final position was Executive Officer of Naval Station Everett. In a recent candidate forum, he emphasized accountability and including stakeholders in decision making.

Take time to learn about the candidates. If possible, attend a forum where you can listen to them speak. Most important, be sure to vote!

Steven D. Stinson Leadership in Natural Resources Scholarship Award Winners, left to right: Cole Tiemersma, Alexis Walker and Eric Kemp.

Stinson Scholarship Recipients Honored

A highlight of the 2016 WFFA Annual Meeting was the recognition of the winners of the first annual Steven D. Stinson Leadership in Natural Resources Scholarship Awards.

The scholarship fund was seeded with a generous gift from Port Blakely and individual contributors. The fund has grown nicely since its inception in 2015, and three awards were presented by Steve’s widow, Lou Jean Clark.

The recipients were Alexis Walker ($1,000), daughter of Alan and Ruby Walker, Erik Kemp ($700), son of  Bill and Janet Kemp, and Cole Tiemersma ($300), son of Mark and Lisa Tiemersma and grandson of Tom and Bonnie Westergreen. All three students plan careers in natural resources.

Please see the photo below that shows the scholarship winners and visit the WFFA website to learn about their future education plans.

Mark Your Calendars

July 19
Chehalis - Lewis County Chapter
To Thin or Not to Thin?
Tour of B&D Tree Farm, owned by Bryon & Donna Loucks and Annual Picnic.

July 21
Grays Harbor Chapter
Co-Planting Western Red Cedar with Sitka Spruce
A tour of Andrej and Nancy Romanovsky’s tree farm near Brady. This event will showcase the work done at Tree Fever Farm that documents the results of different methods of protecting cedar seedlings in the field.
An informational flier is available on the WFFA web site here. For further information, please contact

August 20
Family Field Day
Presented by WSU Extension. An “out in the woods” educational event packed with practical “how-to” information. Includes classes and activities led by experts in forest health, wildlife habitat, soils, fire protection, timber and non-timber forest products. Presenters are available to answer questions specific to your needs and situation. Youth activities are available throughout the day.

Pre-registration: $20 per person, $30 for family. Late registration $30 and $40. Online brochure provides specific location, list of classes, and registration form. Information: Andy Perleberg, WSU Extension Forester; (509) 667-6540
Copyright © 2016 Washington Farm Forestry Association, All rights reserved.

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