As a former member of the Executive Team of the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and a former member of a city Tree Board, I was disappointed by the letter attacking Hank Myers for his work to protect urban forests. DNR is the agency responsible for managing forestland across Washington and promoting urban forests, and I can tell you from my work and experience in forestry that Hank Myers has been a leader in protecting our parks and urban forests – not just through words, but actions.
As a certified forest steward for the Green Redmond program, Hank has been directly involved in planting trees in our parks, removing invasive species and protecting those areas that are so emblematic of our community. That care for the environment is one reason Hank was named to the Salmon Recovery Council. Healthy forests and clean water go hand in hand, not just for us to enjoy but for salmon, birds and other wildlife.
The author of the letter confuses, perhaps intentionally, Hank’s role as a forest steward with the Forest Stewardship Council, an international organization system of “forest certification” that has nothing to do with Green Redmond or urban forests at all. How do I know this? Because I have worked for years on forest certification systems, speaking at an international conference on the issue earlier this year and I am the manager of Forest Certification Watch, a website designed specifically to analyze such standards. The author’s arguments are simply uninformed and incorrect. Last minute attacks based on ignorance are all too common in politics and reflect poorly on the candidates making such cheap and ignorant attacks.
If you care about trees and the environment, I encourage you to compare the candidates. Hank Myers has the experience caring for our urban forests. He has worked directly to promote clean water for our community and salmon. His opponent has no experience on environmental issues at all.
For more than a decade, environmental policy has been my focus – concern about healthy, sustainable forests and wildlife habitat. The beauty of the Northwest is something I cherish and urban forests are a strong part of that. These are values I learned from someone who also cares about them – Hank Myers…my dad. I am proud to work for environmental stewardship and I know Hank Myers will be a great voice for environmental stewardship in Olympia.
—Todd Myers, Sammamish