At a press conference alongside climate scientists, legislators and local officials Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz unveiled the Washington Department of Natural Resource’s Plan for Climate Resilience, which was developed through discussions with internal and external partners statewide and details the threats climate change poses for the state and recommendations for mitigating them.

“Across the state, we are seeing and feeling the impacts of climate change,” said Commissioner Franz, head of DNR. “Wildfire and smoke threaten public health. Orca and salmon runs are in decline. Communities are confronting flooding, water shortages, and drought. As stewards and beneficiaries of our lands and waters, we need to take action now. This plan is our blueprint for the future – our enduring commitment that our children and grandchildren will be able to benefit from Washington’s forests, farms and waters like we have.”

“Increasing resilience to climate change is vital for communities and tribes in Puget Sound and along Washington’s coast. Our communities are facing increasing floods from more intense precipitation, and our shellfish and salmon are suffering from warming waters in rivers, loss of habitat, changing ocean acidity and ocean temperature. We appreciate DNR’s leadership in articulating responses. It’s critical that we build our capacity and work together.” said Representative Debra Lekanoff (D-Bow, 40th District).

The purpose of the plan is to “advance climate resilience within DNR, throughout the natural resource sectors in which we work, and among our partners throughout the state, including tribes, cities, counties, stakeholders, and other state agencies.” On Page 10, the plan recognizes examples of ongoing resilience work in Washington including the Cascades to Coast Landscape Collaborative and our Partner Forum’s Cascadia Climate Adaptation Strategy “developing information, visions, and resources to achieve a network of resilient, healthy, and connected ecosystems and working landscapes capable of providing a full suite of ecosystem services.”

Dr. Crystal Raymond, Climate Adaptation Specialist at the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group noted at the plan’s release “The potential impacts of climate change can seem dire, but the consequences for our natural systems, economies, and local communities don’t have to be. The sooner we collectively act to plan for and manage climate risks, the better prepared we will all be.”

Full copy – Climate Resilience Plan (2/20/2020)

Overview – Climate Resilience Plan (2/20/2020)