PORTLAND, Ore. June 10, 2013. A recent government report reveals that the number of houses in dispersed rural settings in western Washington has doubled over the past 30 years, and that 20 percent of nonfederal land is currently developed.
"Resource lands in Washington are being lost at a rate of a football field every 18 minutes," says Andy Gray, a research ecologist at the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station. "People are concerned about losing capacity to grow local food crops and wood products, and about how patterns of development are impacting water quality, wildfire risk, and wildlife."
Gray is the lead author of a recent report, Changes in Land Use and Housing on Resource Lands in Washington State, 1976-2006. The study covers information on all 39 counties in Washington. The analysis is grouped into five areas: Puget
Sound, Olympic Peninsula, southwest Washington west of the crest of the Cascade Mountains, and Central and Inland Empire east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains.
Key findings from the report include:
|Contact: Sherri Richardson-Dodge|
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station