Thank you, Evergreen Public School Superintendent John Deeder, for your outstanding 48 years of service to SW WA's education community.
Our National Forests are one of our country’s greatest sustainable resources. Properly managed, they are healthy and balanced ecosystems that provide abundant benefits for not just one species, but all of the wildlife that depend on a diverse, multi-staged forest. They also give us clean water and air, provide a host of recreational opportunities, and support our rural communities with jobs and the revenues they need to support critical services such as schools, road maintenance, and emergency response.
Unfortunately, because they have not been adequately managed for nearly three decades, our forests are no longer healthy and we are seeing unprecedented wildfires, disease outbreaks and insect infestations. Millions of acres of our great forests across the west are either already dead or dying, threatening the very viability of the forests themselves. We must restore management to our forests in a way that enhances the ecosystem and provides habitat across the spectrum for a broad array of species—from those that require young forests for their survival, to those that depend upon old growth.
I am committed to restoring the vibrancy of our National Forests -- and the rural communities who depend upon them. My efforts so far have included: