Lands Commissioner announces Rural Communities Partnership Initiative

Commissioner to embark on statewide tour

OLYMPIA – The Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz will announce the Rural Communities Partnership Initiative on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. The initiative is an expanded effort of the work that the Department of Natural Resources already does to support rural and natural resource-based economies in Washington State.

This initiative will be an ongoing effort on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources to partner with interested communities to leverage DNR assets and expertise to create and support opportunities for economic investment and growth.

DNR manages nearly 6 million acres of public forests, aquatic and agricultural lands in Washington State. The agency carries out habitat restoration, land stewardship and recreation work in every county in the state. “Our mission is to protect and enhance Washington’s public lands for current and future generations,” said Commissioner Franz. “But it is also an essential part of our mission to ensure quality of life for all Washingtonians and that means strong local economies in every area of the state.”

The Commissioner’s two-day tour on Wednesday, June 7 and Thursday, June 8, will highlight development work going on in five communities around the state. The goal of this tour is to highlight the type of work that is already under way and to draw attention to the possibilities for other areas of the state, inviting any person or group to reach out to DNR and discuss potential partnership opportunities.

“The Department of Natural Resources has significant resources and capacity to aid in economic development around the state, especially in areas of Washington that have been traditionally natural resource-based economies,” the Commissioner said. “This agency believes that social, environmental and economic investment, and stewardship are concepts that work in concert, not opposition. We can invest in clean jobs, restore habitats and create economic opportunity around the state at the same time. It takes perseverance, transparency and energy – all things that this agency and its employees are committed to.”