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OLYMPIA – State and federal agencies have signed a “shared stewardship” memorandum of understanding to work collaboratively concerning natural resources.

The memorandum was signed last week by state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, state Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind, U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen and Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa.

State officials said the memorandum, the second of its kind in the nation, establishes a framework for Washington state and the Forest Service to work collaboratively toward mutual goals and effectively respond to the increasing suite of challenges facing communities, landscapes and natural resources across the state.

The agencies will work together to improve forest health – a cornerstone of clean water and abundant wildlife habitat – and create exceptional recreational and outdoor opportunities across the state.

“Wildfire, forest health and habitat loss are not issues that respect property lines,” said Franz. “To truly tackle our wildfire and forest health crisis, at the pace and scale this crisis demands, we need a strong partnership between Washington state and the USDA Forest Service. This agreement ensures that our response will be unified, well-coordinated, and deliver maximum benefit for the people.”

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