A Forest-Health Crisis
More than a century of excluding fire in the dry forests of Eastern Washington has caused many smaller trees to grow in places they historically wouldn’t have grown. Crowded trees lead to fires that can fuel out of control, resulting in:
Catastrophic Wildfires: Climate change is creating hotter, drier, longer summers, which are increasing fire conditions resulting in remarkably more wildfires impacting communities and nature.
Loss of Life & Property: Washington residents are living with intense wildfires, evacuations, damage to property and injuries and death.
Economic & Ecological Costs: Timber revenue, property and habitat loss impact the economy. We also lose other benefits nature provides such as clean air and clean water.
Unhealthy Smoke: Catastrophic wildfires unleash a massive amount of unhealthy smoke that affects us all.
How I-1631 would help
A fee on large-source carbon pollution would generate funds to invest in forest health in Washington state. A projected $1 billion annual revenue would go to:
Restoring Forests Means:
Forest Thinning: The removal of smaller trees reduces the amount of fuel so fires are not so catastrophic to forests, wildlife, fisheries and communities.
Prescribed Fire to Reduce Fuel Loads: After thinning small trees, a prescribed or controlled burn may be used to reset the forest into a rhythm where low-intensity fires burn through periodically. Doing so protects large fire-resistant trees from future intense wildfires.
Tree Planting: When a wildfire is severe, killing most of the trees, new trees can be planted to jump start forest recovery while creating new habitat for wildlife.
On-the-Ground Jobs: Timber, prescribed fire, forest thinning and forest-product jobs support local economies while helping to improve forest health for the benefit of everyone.
Successful Outcomes for Forests & People
Healthy forests mean healthier, happier and safer communities.
Safer Communities: Restoring forests means less risk of catastrophic fires that can threaten communities.
Easy Access to Recreation: Healthy forests provide recreational opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking and more.
Thriving Forests: Healthy forests provide habitat for wildlife, keep wildfires at bay and hold soil in place.
Clean Air & Clean Water: Healthy forests clean the air, filter water and ensure sustainable water supplies for people.