The Not-So-Evergreen State

Widespread development in Washington has changed the landscape of the state from forests to houses. Experts are predicting a further loss of more than 300,000 acres of forests within the next several years.

"Hundreds of thousands of acres of Western Washington forests are being converted to home sites, hobby farms and commercial developments."

"The sell-off of commercial timberland is changing the regional landscape in ways residents and government officials never anticipated. The result is not only suburban sprawl but also what some decry as a permanent scar on the face of the Evergreen State."

"'We're dismantling the forest, tearing it up, breaking it down into little parcels. It isn't the forest it used to be,' said Brian Boyle, a former state lands commissioner and now part-time leader of a University of Washington College of Forest Resources think tank."

"Since the 1930s, Washington state has lost 2 million acres of timberland to other uses. But the trend has accelerated, particularly in the 1990s and along the Interstate 5 corridor, land-use experts said."

"Over the next several years, 300,000 acres of Western Washington timberland is likely to be converted to other uses, according to a recent UW estimate."

Full Story: State might need new nickname

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