Hilary Franz, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands, Receives American Forests’ Inaugural Forest Resilience Champion Award
First of its kind award presented to Franz, a third-generation farmer, small forest landowner and elected servant of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources
(Washington, DC) – American Forests presented its inaugural Forest Resilience Champion Award on Thursday, May 30, 2019, to Washington State Department of Natural Resources Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz.
Elected in 2016, Franz protects and manages nearly six million acres of public lands in Washington State – from coastal waters and aquatic reserves, to working forests and farms, to commercial developments and recreation areas.
The American Forests’ Forest Resilience Champion Award specifically recognizes her leadership in pushing for Washington’s forests to remain resilient in the face of climate change, investing in clean energy and carbon sequestration, and her development of an unprecedented 20-year Forest Health Strategic Plan for the state.
“Commissioner Franz has provided a model for what state-level leadership can do to advance forest health and resilience across a pivotal state like Washington,” said American Forests President & CEO Jad Daley. “But her leadership radiates far beyond Washington State. Her leadership and the work of the Washington Department of Natural Resources are helping our organization illustrate the ideal approach for other states and the federal government.”
“It’s an honor for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to be recognized for bold, innovative work restoring forest health and confronting wildfire,” said Franz. “We still have a lot to do to ensure our communities and forests are strong and healthy, but we are making progress.”
The American Forests Forest Resilience Champion Award will continue to recognize individuals who are providing national leadership toward maintaining the biodiversity, resilience and stability of America’s forestland.
About American Forests
Founded in 1875, American Forests is the nation’s oldest conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America’s forests, but our work today is more critical than ever because forests are a natural climate solution. Since 1990 alone, we have planted over 60 million trees in forest restoration projects in all 50 U.S. states. We have also worked in dozens of cities across America, expanding tree canopy and making our communities more sustainable, beautiful and livable. Together, these projects recover hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, safeguard vital watersheds, absorb millions of tons of greenhouse gases and protect some of the most stunning landscapes in America.