We who spend time in the woods, on the prairies and on the water know climate change is real. Even our green corner of Washington is at growing risk for wildfire as evergreen forests and grasslands suffer heat and drought. The smoke from fires in our region affects everyone’s health. The environmental health of Puget Sound and Hood Canal are critically important for salmon, shellfish, recreation and our own well-being. However, as more carbon is released into the atmosphere and our waterways grow warmer, salmon have trouble reproducing. Ocean acidification means oysters, clams and mussels can’t make strong shells and our local shellfish industry suffers.

We must transition to zero-carbon energy, and we need help to put electric cars, solar panels and other green energy tools within financial reach of working people. While we practice sustainable forestry and conserve working forests and farms, we can also protect the rare older public forests that provide unmatched habitat and ecological benefits.

I will strongly support legislation that will help rural communities make the switch to cleaner and more renewable energy supplies. It is critical that while we make this essential adjustment, we build strong infrastructure that supports our workers and economy. Building on my work at the Department of Natural Resources and the Capitol Land Trust, I will fight for the ecological health of Washington landscapes and waterways, while supporting sustainable forestry and our local shellfish industry.