Darrington Collaborative
Darrington Collaborative
The Darrington Collaborative, launched on July 10, 2015, is a partnership between diverse interests such as major conservation organizations, local STEM education programs, the local timber industry, and the community of Darrington, with the goal of increasing ecologically sustainable timber harvests in the Darrington region, creating jobs, and improving and restoring the health of forests and watersheds. 
The partnership grew out of the tragic Oso slide on March 22, 2014, which killed 43 people, destroyed homes, damaged public infrastructure including a main highway, and blocked the Stillaguamish River, causing significant environmental and economic damage. Conservation and recreation organizations worked with local community leaders to promote the incredible outdoor recreation opportunities near the scenic town of Darrington and to support the establishment of local STEM education efforts that have evolved into the Glacier Peak Institute. 
Mission and Goals
The Darrington Collaborative will bring together stakeholders from the community of Darrington, WA, the environmental community, members of the local Darrington timber industry, Darrington STEM youth education programs and representatives from federal, state and local government around shared goals of increasing ecologically sustainable timber harvest under the Northwest Forest Plan on the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in the Darrington vicinity while improving the ecological functioning of our forests and watersheds. The Darrington Collaborative will work together and with federal officials to address issues that stand in the way of achieving the stated goals.
Ultimately, the purpose is to show we can simultaneously create a more ecologically resilient forest, provide for increased, sustainable timber harvests on the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest near Darrington, and provide economic benefits to the community of Darrington and educational opportunities for Darrington’s youth through the STEM program.
Goals include:
  1. Increasing the number of acres treated and total harvest volume produced in forest restoration projects under the Northwest Forest Plan and increasing the number and footprint of aquatic and other non-harvest related restoration projects.
  2. Creating a framework of agreement on the type and locations of forest restoration treatments that benefit the ecosystem and provide for increased harvest levels under the Northwest Forest Plan.
  3. Improving treatment effectiveness and working to reduce the time and cost required to plan and prepare projects through increased efficiencies for the Forest Service.
  4. Creating a framework of agreement around innovative forest practices, treatments, and techniques that integrate ecological, social, and economic goals, and exploring whether the Adaptive Management Area (AMA) established under the Northwest Forest Plan provides an opportunity to test these alternative approaches.
  5. Creating new educational and career opportunities for Darrington’s youth by integrating the Darrington outdoor STEM education projects into scientific monitoring of collaborative projects.
  6. Collaborating on specific projects, as needed, to create an environment that reduces conflict and seeks to achieve a common vision for tho future of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest within the Darrington region and working towards creating a more sustainable future for the regional timber economy and the community of Darrington.
  7. Creating a forum for addressing any problems that stand in the way of accomplishing our stated goals with the active involvement of federal elected and agency officials.
  8. Through a strategic communications and outreach plan, utilize projects and project outcomes to educate and bring awareness to the Puget Sound Region regarding the ecological benefits of sustainable timber harvest under the Northwest Forest Plan.

Collaborative Board of Directors

Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin (Co-Chair - Timber)

Paul Wagner, Washington State Society of American Foresters 

Steve Skaglund, Three Rivers Contract Logging

Tom Uniack, Washington Wild

Megan Birzell, The Wilderness Society

Thomas O’Keefe, Ph.D., American Whitewater

Jon Owen, The Pew Charitable Trusts (Co-Chair - Conservation)

Oak Rankin, Director, Glacier Peak Institute-WSU STEM coordinator

Mike Town, Tesla STEM High School Environmental Sciences Educator

Tim Johnson, Hampton Lumber Company



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