OSPI Superintendent Reykdahl Wants To Reimagine Board Of Natural Resources

A top down image of a forest.

Photo by Olena Sergienko, Unsplash

Washington State’s superintendent Chris Reykdahl wants people to stop using the argument that schools need revenue from timber to justify the sales.

“Step one for me, is to extract schools out of this question, stop letting people use school construction as the excuse to harvest,” Reykdahl told NWPB.

He wants to take the fractional share of funding schools receive from timber sales out of the discussion of how much timber should be harvested.

Beneficiaries of timber sales constitute much of the Board of Natural Resources, who approve timber sales, and Reykdahl says this is wrong for where we’re at today, including his own seat. He would like to see a reimagining of who sits on the board.

“At some point, it should be about managing our forests for the best outcomes, it should not just be about the beneficiaries making decisions on how to keep the flow of revenue coming to their institutions when it’s becoming a smaller and smaller share of their institutions,” Reykdahl says.

Reykdahl says the legislature should take action to ask the board, or a third party, about its governance. He doesn’t feel the board is poised to make these decisions on its own.

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