Commissioner of Public Lands a Campaign Worth Participating In

Did you KNOW that . . .

  • The elected Commissioner of Public Lands manages over 2 million acres of state forests?
  • The elected Commissioner of Public Lands is responsible for regulating over 9 million acres of private forest land?
  • The elected Commissioner of Public Lands manages ALL of the state’s salt-water tidelands?

Whether your are aware of it or not, the state’s Department of Natural Resources has an impact on the quality of life here in the Griffin area. In the upcoming election, we should keep in mind the roles of both the Thurston County Commissioners and the State’s Department of Natural Resources. This November, we’ll be presented with two very different candidates to replace Diane Oberquell on the Board of Commissioners.

But, what about the Commissioner of Public Lands? Now is the time to do some research on the two candidates. Click here for the Voter’s Pamphlet page on the Commissioner of Public Lands.

Incumbent Doug Sutherland (Republican) served as Tacoma’s Mayor and two terms as Pierce County’s Executive before being elected as Commissioner of Public Lands.

“For the past eight years, Doug has worked hard to end the bitter environmental battles surrounding our state’s natural resources. He understands that the way to do that is to work in a bipartisan way to find solutions that benefit all the citizens of Washington State.”
— Committee to Re-Elect Doug Sutherland

Endorsements for Sutherland’s re-election come from Slade Gorton, Dan Evans, Dino Rossi, Juli Wilkerson (Co-Chair of Washington’s Climate Advisory Team), Mike Vaska (Board Member, Washington Conservation Voters) and many others. Back in April, The Olympian reported that Washington Realtors’ political action committee endorsed Sutherland. A complete list is on Sutherland’s campaign web site.

Click here to learn more about the campaign to re-elect Doug Sutherland, Republican, Public Lands Commissioner.

The challenger is Peter J. Goldmark (Democrat).

Democrat Goldmark polled 49% in the recent primary against the Republican incumbent. In some counties (Jefferson, San Juan, Cowlitz, Whatcom and others), he bested Sutherland.

“The Commissioner of Public Lands is an office that dramatically impacts our quality of life, rural economies, and natural environment each and every day. With so much at stake under pressures from a growing population, climate change and a fluctuating economy, it is critical that Washington voters elect a Lands Commissioner with a commitment to long-term sustainability—for trust revenues, jobs, recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, and ecological protection.”
— Peter Goldmark for Lands Commissioner

Supporters of Peter Goldmark (full disclosure: I am a supporter of Goldmark’s candidacy), point out that:

  • The incumbent has tried to increase the state’s timber harvest by almost 30% until a court shot down his plan.
  • The incumbent has resisted improving the logging rules on steep and unstable slopes so they would not produce catastrophic floods.
  • A little over 50% of incumbent’s contributions to date have come from timber, mining, and real estate interests.

Washington Conservation Voters endorse Peter Goldmark. Other endorsements have come from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Governor Christine Gregoire, Lt. Governor Brad Owen, Former Governor Gary Locke, Congressman Brian Baird, Congressman Norm Dicks, Congressman Jay Inslee, Grays Harbor County Democrats, and many others. A complete list is on Goldmark’s campaign web site.

Click here to learn more about the campaign to elect Peter J. Goldmark, Democrat, Lands Commissioner.

Click here for video segment from a recent King 5 episode of “Up Front” which focused on these two candidates for Lands Commissioner.


Do you support Sutherland or Goldmark? What recommendations do you have, for neighbors to learn more about your candidate? Add your comments, using the link below.

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