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Upthegrove sends letter to DNR in support of 300-acre forest preservation 

February 29, 2024

King Council Chair Dave Upthegrove on Tuesday sent a letter to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources concurring with the preservation of nearly 300 acres of forest land on Tiger Mountain. The letter followed a unanimous vote by the King County Council authorizing Upthegrove to send the letter on behalf of the Council. The concurrence of the County Council was a required step in state law in order to allow the use of state Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) funding to protect these public lands. The letter of concurrence followed the announcement by the State Department of Natural Resources on Dec. 18 that this parcel on Tiger Mountain had been proposed for conservation as part of the first 2,000 acres to be preserved using funding from the state’s NCS program.

This structurally complex, carbon dense forestland is near an existing Natural Resource Conservation Area (the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area) and will have the dual positive impact of increased opportunities to store carbon and improve habitat for plants and animals.

“Protecting mature legacy forests within King County is critical to reaching our climate goals as a county and as a state, but financial impacts remain a challenge to preservation,” Upthegrove said. “There is a huge demand from counties for funding from the Natural Climate Solutions program. The Legislature needs to continue to make robust funding for this program a priority.”

The King County Council’s State Legislative Agenda for 2024 included a request to increase funding for the state’s Natural Climate Solutions program, which helps protect treasured local forests that store carbon and benefit our climate.

"Our forests are invaluable, so it is critical that we are all working toward forestland conservation. This transfer protects 300 acres of forestland on Tiger Mountain and is an excellent step in meeting our Climate Action Plan priorities,” said King County Councilmember Sarah Perry. “As Chair of Local Services and Land Use, I take the responsibility of stewarding our forestland seriously as well as adequately funding our efforts so they are effective."

The Natural Climate Solutions program, born out of the Climate Commitment Act, is intended to conserve working forestlands at risk of conversion and increase their carbon pollution reduction capacity through sequestration, storage, and overall system integrity. It provides an opportunity to protect forests across Washington State for climate and biodiversity benefits.