Franz elected to chair Board of Natural Resources

Board confirms appointment of Eric Schroff as DNR Supervisor

OLYMPIA – At a special meeting this morning, the Board of Natural Resources elected Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz as its chair. Washington voters recently elected Franz as the state’s 14th Lands Commissioner to manage the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and administer the agency’s $325 million annual budget.

Board members then elected Clallam County Commissioner Bill Peach as the board’s vice chair. Peach serves on the board to represent the counties in which DNR manages forestland to support county and other local services.

The board also welcomed two new members: Chris Reykdal, newly elected Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction; and Elizabeth Van Volkenburgh, Ph.D., interim director of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle.

The board adopts policies, approves major commodity sales and makes decisions about transactions of state lands managed by DNR. Its membership represents the major beneficiaries of state trust lands, including public schools, state universities and other state institutions as well as the 21 counties with forestland managed by DNR to support public services.

Since 1970, DNR-managed state trust lands have generated more $8 billion for public schools, communities and other beneficiaries.

Eric Schroff named Department Supervisor

The board today also approved a motion confirming its advice and consent to Commissioner Franz’s appointment of Eric Schroff as Department Supervisor. Schroff, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of DNR and its more than 1,200 permanent employees, has been a DNR region manager and assistant division director. More recently, he managed community development for the Canadian federal territory of Yukon.

Commissioner of Public Lands

As the elected Commissioner of Public Lands, Franz manages the state’s largest fire department, protecting 12.7 million acres of private and state-owned land from wildfire. As Commissioner, she or her designee chairs the state Forest Practices Board, which sets rules concerning logging, road building and other forest operations.

DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation and aquatic lands. More than half of these lands are held in trust and produce income to support public schools, universities, prisons and other state institutions. Lands managed by DNR provide other public benefits including outdoor recreation, habitat for native fish and wildlife and watersheds for clean water.