Washington Department of Natural Resources
The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages over 3,000,000 acres (12,000 km2) of forest, range, agricultural, and commercial lands for the U.S. state of Washington. The DNR also manages 2,600,000 acres (11,000 km2) of aquatic areas which include shorelines, tidelands, lands under Puget Sound and the coast, and navigable lakes and rivers. Part of the DNR's management responsibility includes monitoring of mining cleanup, environmental restoration, providing scientific information about earthquakes, landslides, and ecologically sensitive areas. DNR also works towards conservation, in the form of Aquatic Reserves such as Maury Island or the Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area.
The main sources of funds for the department's activities are forestry and geoduck harvesting, rather than taxes. In addition, the State uses revenue generated from DNR-managed lands to fund the construction of public schools, colleges, universities, and other government institutions, and county and state services.
The head of DNR is an elected official, referred to as the Commissioner of Public Lands. The current Commissioner of Public Lands is Peter Goldmark who was elected on November 4, 2008
Management of public lands
Aquatic Reserves Areas which are designed to “conserve, preserve, restore, and/or enhance” aquatic habitats and species. There are four main goals of an Aquatic Reserve. The first goal is to conserve the native habitats of plants and wildlife species including forage fish, salmonids, and migratory birds. The second goal is to conserve the functions and native processes of the near shore ecosystem. The third is to maintain the territory, habitats, and species through education and opportunities for public involvement.
DNR employs approximately 10 law enforcement officers who are located throughout the state. These officers patrol lands owned or managed by the DNR. DNR Officers are full-authority law enforcement officers while they are on DNR lands. Under state law DNR Officers are considered to be limited authority law enforcement officers since their state law enforcement authority is only applicable on lands owned by DNR. The majority of the County Sheriffs in Washington have commissioned all or their local DNR Officers as county deputies allowing them to act as a full authority law enforcement officer throughout the county, not only on DNR lands. DNR Officers are dispatched by the Washington State Patrol.
- Official website of the Washington Department of Natural Resources
- www.petergoldmark.com Goldmark's 2008 campaign website