Good News Blast – Tree Protections, Green Buildings, and More

The Good News Bulletin

There have been so many exciting local and statewide climate wins recently that we decided to pull together this one-time Good News Bulletin to share and celebrate all our collective efforts! 

Urban Tree Protection Win in Lacey
TCAT and the Tree Action Group, along with other tree activists across the county, are celebrating a huge win for tree protections in the City of Lacey. At the June 16th Lacey City Council meeting, the Council voted 4-2, not only to reject the Planning  Department’s recommendation to remove the residential cutting policy known as the “5 in 3 rule,” which allowed homeowners to cut down 5 trees in a 3 year period without applying for a special permit, but they went even one step further, passing a stronger more protective policy. The new policy restricts residential cutting to 3 trees over 5 years. This win is due to the tireless efforts of tree protectors throughout the county over the last year. We enthusiastically celebrate this success!  

Steps Towards Decarbonization in Olympia
Last week, Climate Program Manager Dr. Pamela Braff gave a presentation to Olympia’s Land Use and Environment Committee on residential solar readiness and Electric Vehicle (EV) readiness. After discussing the presentation, the Land Use and Environment Committee asked Dr. Braff to begin drafting an ordinance which would require all new buildings be solar ready and EV-ready. This is a huge step forward in decarbonization of the city and implementation of the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan (TCMP).

Thurston County Officials Take on DNR over Legacy Forest Protection
On June 16th, the Thurston County Commissioners sent a joint letter to The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and specifically to Hilary Franz, the Commissioner of Public Lands asking the DNR not to cut 3,100 acres of forest in Thurston County, primarily within Capitol Forest. The letter articulated the Commissioners’ opposition to DNR logging in our county, including the setback cutting would cause to meeting our mitigation goals. We are excited to see our commissioners lead by example on the state level by taking a strong stance and advocating for tree protections.

In addition to the letter from the Commissioners’, the Thurston County Climate Action Steering Committee, the joint jurisdictional body responsible for the implementation of the TCMP, voted on Tuesday June 28th to send their own letter to the DNR regarding their opposition to cutting in light of the negative impacts on carbon sequestration. Both actions demonstrate that all of our advocacy with our local officials is being heard, and they are showing up to represent us by standing up to the DNR in defense of our local lands, trees, and watersheds!

Statewide Residential Building Code Update The State Building Code Council (SBCC) voted today to move forward on residential energy code updates. This means a public comment period will be opened, and we will have the opportunity to advocate for strong progressive residential codes to help Washington continue moving away from fossil fuels as an energy source. Stay tuned, your voice will be needed!

All of these wins are the result of your engagement and support! We can’t say thank you enough! We are incredibly proud of our community and of the movement we are building locally to implement climate solutions, mitigate impacts, sequester carbon, and co-create a strong and resilient community. Your time and your financial support help us at TCAT continue to do this vital work. It truly is a community effort, and that effort is seeing new climate related policies passed or strengthened, from building electrification in Olympia to tree protections in Lacey, and from Tumwater hiring a Sustainability Coordinator to Thurston County working to protect our Legacy Forests. Help us continue progressing towards a healthier sustainable future for your children and grandchildren! Please donate today!

Posted in