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Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Based on legislative budgets released so far, a major increase in state funding for wildfire fighting and prevention looks likely. Washington's Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, has requested an unprecedented $55 million dollars to fight and prevent wildfires. She argues this will save taxpayer money in the long run.

NaturallyWood.com / Courtesy of Forterra

When you think of high-rise buildings, you probably don’t imagine wood as the weight-bearing material. But Washington recently approved a change in its building codes that will allow engineered mass timber in structures up to 18 stories tall. That’s three times as high as current code allows.

A target set up in the so-called "Shoofly Pit" in Tahuya State Forest. DNR would like to move this unofficial site, but is struggling to find a better alternative.
Phil Greenwald

Representatives of the state Department of Natural Resources will be in Belfair on Monday evening. They’re meeting with members of the community to address concerns about an unregulated increase in target shooting in Tahuya State Forest.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

The state Department of Natural Resources is asking the Legislature for nearly $90 million dollars to protect and improve aquatic lands. DNR chief Hilary Franz says the package will support the work of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Orca Recovery Task Force.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The failure of the legislature to pass a capital budget leaves Washington’s state forests with an increasing risk of catastrophic wildfires. 

The state department of Natural Resources says a recent survey showed it has about 2.7 million acres of forests in Washington that are in poor health.

Andrew Reding / Flickr Creative Commons

How to protect marbled murrelet habitat in state-owned forests is in the spotlight this week in Washington, as the state’s Department of Natural Resources kicks off a series of public meetings on a range of strategies for a 50-year conservation plan of the endangered seabird.

Courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources

In what's being praised by local tribes as a renewed victory for tribal treaty rights, Washington state's Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve is gaining 45 acres that were once left out for possible development. 

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/52133016@N08/6309025687/">USFWS Pacific</a> Flickr via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>

Washington’s Department of Natural Resources will soon release a draft environmental impact statement on its long-term strategy for the marbled murrelet. But some conservation groups are crying foul. 

The marbled murrelet is an elusive seabird that’s listed as a threatened species under both federal and state law. It nests in old growth forests and DNR’s document outlines six options to help the bird survive. But the agency still needs to meet its constitutional mandate of generating revenue for schools through logging.

Bellamy Pailthorp / knkx

The Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River has long been thought to have huge potential as a recreational area, less than an hour from Seattle. It’s at the heart of roughly 1.5 million acres of open space in the Mountains to Sound Greenway along I-90. But for decades, the valley was so trashed that even local law enforcement considered it dangerous.

That’s changing, now that a new paved road into the area is nearing completion.

Aaron Barna / USFWS - Pacific Region

When the marbled murrelet was first listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1992, so little was known about the elusive sea bird that the state postponed finalizing its long-term habitat conservation plan, opting instead for interim strategies until more scientific research could inform the best strategies.

courtesy of Wash State Department of Natural Resources

Tacoma Public Utilities has taken possession of 70 acres of public lands near Lake Cushman that were previously owned by the State Department of Natural Resources. Under the deal, the parcel will remain open space for recreation and will stay closed be logging or development.

There’s a large swath of native prairie southwest of Olympia that’s very strange looking. So strange, in fact, that some have even said it was created by aliens. 

What makes it strange are “things” called The Mima Mounds.

We can tell you some things they are not, but we can’t tell you what they are. In fact, people have been trying to figure them out for centuries.

“It’s probably one of the most poorly understood phenomena in earth science,” says Paul Butler, professor emeritus of Earth Science at the Evergreen State College.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Liam Moriarty / KPLU News

So, you live near a marina -- or a river or lake -- and you notice that an old, possibly-abandoned boat is sinking.

Who you gonna call?

Your first thought might be to notify the local police or fire department. Bryan Flint says that might work, or it might not.

Courtesy DNR

State enforcement officers from the Department of Natural Resources have arrested two men for illegally cutting down large alder trees on state property.

The DNR blog Ear to the Ground reports that: