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Washington’s Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz will be in Wenatchee tonight for an event with Senator Brad Hawkins to kick off his forest health bill that passed unanimously this session (SB 5546). The event, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Wenatchee Valley Museum, will have a panel discussion with Commissioner Franz, Senator Hawkins, The Nature Conservancy, the NCW Forest Health Collaborative and the Era of Megafires.
KOHO’s Dan Langager talked with them both about tonight’s opportunity to hear firsthand the work being done to address wildfire risk in North Central Washington.
SB 5546, passed unanimously March 1 by the Senate, directs the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to set up a framework for assessing the health of fire-prone lands and treating them. It sets a specific goal of assessing and treating 1 million acres over 16 years, most likely through prescribed fire and mechanical thinning. The bill also includes a stakeholder process and biennial progress reviews to the Legislature.

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