Machinists Union, Allies Win Washington State Supreme Court Case to Continue Sustainable Forest Management

The IAM and the Washington State Council of Machinists, along with several allied organizations in defense of IAM woodworkers and others in the wood, pulp, and paper industry, have successfully beat back an attempt to take forest management away from the people of Washington state.

The Washington state Supreme Court recently unanimously ruled that the Washington Department of Natural Resources continues to have the fiduciary duty to manage working forests, known as state trust lands. 

READ: Machinists Join Fight to Protect Washington State Forestry Jobs

The case, Conservation Northwest v. Hilary Franz, upholds more than a century of precedent of public lands being used to both sustain the environment and protect good jobs, which help fund schools, local economies, and more.

“This is a victory for every IAM woodworker, their families, and the countless Washington state communities who rely on this critical industry,” said IAM Woodworkers Department Chief of Staff Mike Rose. “I’d like to thank every ally in this fight, especially the American Forest Resource Council and the IAM Legal Department, for standing up and winning in the face of this attack on our livelihoods.”

The IAM represents approximately 2,000 members in the wood, pulp, and paper industry in Washington state.

“The IAM will always stand for policies that both grow good jobs and sustain our environment,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “IAM woodworkers and the communities who manage our treasured forests have rightfully won a huge victory for the future of sustainable forest management. Let this victory serve notice that the Fighting Machinists will fiercely defend our member’s interests anywhere anytime!”

Washington state’s foresting industry depends on the sustainable source of timber provided by the state trust lands to stay in business, support thousands of family-wage jobs, and produce climate-friendly wood products that help reduce Washington’s carbon emissions.

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Updated: August 4, 2022 — 1:33 pm