Karen Porterfield Commitment

My Commitment To You!

For too long a succession of professional politicians has mismanaged the DNR. Poorly maintained forests and rangelands have left us fighting massive wildfires, caused loss of lives in such places as Oso and Twisp, and generated costly lawsuits against the state – costing us, the taxpayers, millions of dollars. My background as a management consultant tells me we can do better. As your Commissioner, I will balance the need for preserving our environment with the need to fund our schools, while putting public safety above everything else. It’s time that we take a business approach to our public lands – not a political one. I have a vision, a plan, and the executive experience to lead and bring fundamental change to how the DNR operates.

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Why Do We Need Change in the DNR?

Leadership matters in every organization.  We need a leader at Department of Natural Resources that can transform DNR to a 21st century organization that focuses on the diverse needs of the public.

Lack of Leadership

The Department of Natural Resources has suffered from a lack of leadership for the last eight years. From hundreds of law suits filed against the state to low employee morale, the current Land Commissioner has shown a total lack of leadership in managing our states’ resources. We deserve better! As your Land Commissioner, I will represent your interests, not the special interests.

Timber Worker Sawing Tree
Clear Cut Forest

Disregard for Public Safety

In the past four years, there have been dozens of lawsuits filed against the Department of Natural Resources for tragedies including the Oso landslides and the Carlton Complex wildfires. In regards to the Oso disaster, the Seattle Times reported, “DNR had been relying on an outdated map to determine where loggers could harvest trees above the Hazel slide. The newer map would have likely restricted most of the 7.5 acres that were clear cut.” Even after the Oso slide, the current Land Commissioner stated, “there are no plans for a moratorium in areas similar to where the slide happened.” I think that it is reprehensible to put people’s lives and property in jeopardy. I would place a moratorium on logging in geographically unstable areas. My top priority will be public health and safety when making these types of decisions.

Poor Forest Management

Washington State lags far behind states like Oregon, Idaho, and California when it comes to proper forest management and controlled burns. The Forest Service has recommended that the state of Washington allow controlled burns to prevent forest fires, however current DNR management has only begun to implement test runs of this proven fire mitigation technique. Scientists point to controlled burns as an “important tool for keeping forests healthier and less susceptible to devastating wildfires.” When elected, I will work with the Forest Service to implement controlled burns to better protect our national forests. Equally concerning is the lack of firefighting equipment and preparedness in parts of Washington state. I will work with local firefighting groups to ensure the safety of the public by making certain that necessary equipment is readily available to combat wildfires. As your Commissioner, public safety and healthy forests will be of the utmost importance to the DNR.

Forest Firefighting
Beautiful Washington

Selling our Environment Short

We live in one of the most ecologically beautiful places in the world yet our Department of Natural Resources has continually failed to protect our environment. The Washington Environmental Council recently provided a detailed evaluation of the Department of Natural Resources. In 2015, they gave the current Land Commissioner four “Fs”, two “Pass” and one “Needs Improvement”. In 2016, he received similar grades from the Washington Environmental Council with (2) Pass, (1) Fail and (3) mixed. This is hardly a record to be proud of!

Help Us Create Real Change

I can only win this race with the support of voters like you. I promise to represent your interests in making the Department of Natural Resources a model agency that protects our environment and provides the maximum amount of funding for our schools. Please consider making a small contribution and volunteer to help in our campaign. If we are to leave Washington’s public lands in a better place than we found them, this is a race we can and must win.

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