Timber's best practice
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Cooperation, flexibility and prevention of damage are keys to wildlife protection. A state plan to help salmon and loggers relies heavily on those important principles.
Gov. Christine Gregoire and state Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland last week laid out a 50-year plan for protecting habitat along salmon streams through private timberlands in Washington. In return for following the plan, landowners would be secure from legal action under the federal Endangered Species Act. Bob Lohn, regional administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said the plan is likely to win federal approval.
Environmentalists rightly caution that flexibility is vital, in case new knowledge shows a need for broader protections. Sutherland promises that forest management will adapt to changing circumstances. As long as adjustments remain possible, long-term planning is the best approach to protecting the environment.