WA BHA Comments on SB 6140


Honorable Representatives Brian Blake, Mike Chapman, Vincent Buys, Tom Dent, Joe Fitzgibbon, Joel Kretz, Kristine Lytton and Larry Springer


Honorable Senators Kevin Van De Wege, John McCoy and Judy Warnick

Honorable Speaker Representative Frank Chopp

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz

As the sportsmen's voice for our public lands, waters and wildlife, the Washington Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA), an international non-profit organization representing more than 1,100 members in Washington state and more than 15,000 nationally, is compelled to express our concern regarding Engrossed Senate Bill 6140; in particular, Section 6.

As currently written, Section 6 raises the possibility of the transfer of state public forestlands to counties or private entities while also further prioritizing revenue generation over public access and recreational opportunities on state land. BHA recognizes the fiduciary responsibilities the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), legislature and state have to the beneficiaries of Washington trust lands. We also acknowledge that sustainable financial returns to public schools and other trust beneficiaries are key to maintaining recreational access, including hunting and fishing opportunities, to these state-owned lands. However in our opinion, this amendment goes too far by directing the DNR to explore land transfer or liquidation as possible solutions for underperforming trust lands.

Our members depend on public lands and hundreds of them hunt, fish and recreate on Washington state forest lands each year. These forests are vital not only for timber production, but also for the cultural and natural heritage of Washington hunters and anglers. Legislation including public land transfer provisions, or provisions mandating the “study” of such transfers, presents an unacceptable precedent for our membership and for the future use and enjoyment of Washington’s public forests.

We strongly urge you to remove Section 6 through an amendment to SB 6140.


Bart George, Co-Chair

Washington State Chapter

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers


Max Cole, Co-Chair

Washington State Chapter

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers


Chase Gunnell, Conservation Committee Chair

Washington State Chapter

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers


Jesse Salsberry

Northwest Outreach Coordinator

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

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