Washington court ruling clears way for carbon storage projects on state logging lands

By Laurel Demkovich
News From The States
April 16, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Forests on Washington’s public logging lands can be left uncut if the state finds that leaving trees standing to fight climate change is a better use than timber sales, a state judge ruled earlier this month. Two years ago, the Department of Natural Resources proposed a project to lease 10,000 acres of state land for carbon capture projects, prompting a lawsuit from Lewis and Skagit counties and a forestry industry trade group. The two counties and the American Forest Resource Council argued that the state did not do a proper environmental analysis of the project, including what it could mean financially for schools and communities that rely on timber revenue. But earlier this month, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled in the agency’s favor, saying the state can manage its lands as it sees fit – not specifically for logging – and that the department did comply with environmental review requirements. 

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