Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
January 18, 2000
Thank you, Steve Rogel, for that kind introduction. And thank you all for this book-I'm sure Mona and I will enjoy it.
It's my honor and privilege to be here today to help celebrate this milestone-a milestone not only for the Weyerhaeuser Company, but for all of Washington.
One hundred years ago, a syndicate led by Frederick Weyerhaeuser bought 900,000 timbered acres at six dollars an acre. Today, the Weyerhaeuser Company manages about 1 ½ million acres of timberland in Washington and calls the state of Washington home, but also has operations in 13 countries and employs 45,000 people. I call that growth!
I'm almost exactly half as old as this company, and I have fond childhood memories of Weyerhaeuser. But Weyerhaeuser and the Weyerhaeuser Company philosophy have an even more profound effect on my adult life.
Norton Clapp told the New York Times in the 1960s that Weyerhaeuser deals not only in terms of decades, but must also project thinking for nearly a century, and he established training schools to prepare future leaders. Clapp felt about timber the same way that I feel about education. His words apply equally to our children-we must project our thinking for nearly a century. Because our children are our future. You all know how I feel about the importance of education. But today, I'd like to focus on trees and their critical importance to the quality of life in our state. Because it's also important that our children have access to the same natural wonders that we do, in terms of the environment and recreational activities.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of forestlands to clean cold water for people to drink and for our wild salmon runs.
Forests cover nearly 20 million acres of our state's 40 million acres of land. Private forest landowners own and manage approximately 8 million of those acres. The state owns and manages about 2 million acres and the federal government owns and manages the rest.
Without proper forest practices on these lands, it would be impossible to protect the health of our watersheds for drinking water and at the same time recover our wild salmon runs, which we all know are in trouble.
However, I am very happy to be able to say, as Governor of this wonderful state, that thanks to the efforts of private forest landowners we now have forest practices that meet the needs of both people and fish: salmon, steelhead and trout. No other state in the Union can claim to have provided the level of protection on forestlands for aquatic species like our state has.
The reason I can say that is because of the historic Fish and Forest Agreement that was signed into law during the 1999 legislative session. As you know, my office worked hard to get that agreement through the legislative process. However, it never would have happened if it were not for the strong support of the forest landowners, both large and small. And no forest landowner did more to help pass the Agreement, than the Company we are here today to honor: Weyerhaeuser.
The people of our state see our vast forestlands as part of our heritage and part of our future. They want forestlands for recreation, for beauty, and for our fish and wildlife. They also want a strong forest economy and the products and benefits that a strong timber industry brings to this region.
Thanks to the Fish and Forest Agreement and thanks to the leadership of forest landowners like Weyerhaeuser, the future of our forests and our salmon looks very good.
Weyerhaeuser is recognized as a global leader in environmentally responsible manufacturing, and I just want to pause here to thank the Weyerhaeuser Company and the 45,000 men and women who work for the Weyerhaeuser Company for your commitment to our environment. And thank you for everything you do to make Washington and communities all across the world better places to live, to work, and to raise a family.
Thank you very much.