The Washington Biodiversity Council was chartered as a public-private partnership to address the links between human well-being and the health of the natural world. It operated under Governor's executive orders from 2004 - 2010.
Council members included private landowners, agency natural resource managers, tribal representatives, and members of the education, business, and environmental communities.
Key Milestones and Achievements
2002: Washington State Legislature passes the biodiversity conservation law. It directs a committee to put together a framework for the development and implementation of a statewide biodiversity conservation strategy to replace existing single-species or single-resource protection programs.
2003: Committee recommends the formation of the Washington Biodiversity Council.
2004: Governor Gary Locke issues Executive Order 04-02, which establishes the Washington Biodiversity Council.
2005–2006: The council assesses existing programs and conditions that relate to biodiversity conservation in Washington and issues the following reports:
Incentive Programs in Washington State: Trends, Gaps, and Opportunities
Information on Scope and Range of Conservation Assessments in Washington
a Biodiversity Conservation Strategy: Socioeconomic Conditions and
Trends in Washington State
- Washington's Biodiversity: Status and Threats
2006–2007: The council sponsors two pilot projects to demonstrate the applicability of landowner stewardship incentive programs in eastern and western Washington.
- The Pierce
County Biodiversity Alliance holds a BioBlitz—a rapid biodiversity
inventory—to kick off community stewardship planning along the lower
- The Healthy Lands Initiative in North Central Washington presents its analysis of available conservation incentives to more than 300 people and convenes work groups about habitat farming and grass-banking.
January 2007: The council sponsors the Washington Forum for Conservation Incentives, a filled-to-capacity event that raises the profile of landowner stewardship incentive programs.
- Washington Conservation Incentives listserv provides ongoing opportunity
- Forum proceedings capture the presentations and discussions from the event.
August 2007: The council commissions the report, Climate Change and the Future of Biodiversity in Washington, the first such study for the state.
December 2007: The council delivers the Washington Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, a comprehensive guide to the most important actions for conserving biodiversity statewide—now and for years to come.
December 2007: The council launches the biodiversity conservation strategy with a special one-day conference, Biodiversity Conservation: What Works, What’s Next.
2008: Governor Chris Gregoire extends the tenure of the Washington Biodiversity Council with Executive Order 08-02.
2008: Council produces a key deliverable of Executive Order 08-02: Leadership Strategy: Recommendations for State Leadership to Sustain Washington’s Biodiversity Heritage
2008–2010: The council and its partners sponsor projects that demonstrate or implement key parts of the Washington Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.
- Biodiversity Scorecard
- Biodiversity Education through Hands-on Student Projects
- North Central Washington Regional Project
- Habitat Connectivity Strategic Communications Project
- Conservation Opportunity maps
- Biodiversity Conservation Toolbox for Planners
- Outreach video on Washington’s Biodiversity: Celebrating the Richness of Life
April 2010: Legislature passes a budget provision that retains the council’s appropriation and extends the council through the next fiscal year.
May 2010: Governor Gregoire vetoes the provision when she signs the budget. Her veto reads: “While I strongly support the work of the Biodiversity Council, I am asking the Natural Resources Cabinet to absorb the council’s oversight role. As we undergo the process of natural resources reform, the Natural Resources Cabinet will assume many leadership roles previously performed by other entities."
May 2010: The Natural Resources Cabinet (formed by Executive Order 09-07) directs the Biodiversity Council and the Recreation and Conservation Office to divide up council projects and responsibilities.
June 2010: At its final meeting on June 3rd, Washington Biodiversity Council members direct staff to explore options for integrating its four remaining projects into the work of partner organizations.
2010–2011 Staff gathers input from work groups of the willing to answer who will house and further the four remaining projects.
June 2011: Staff completes the transition of projects to state agency partners:
- Biodiversity Scorecard
information is available from the Washington
Natural Heritage Program.
Opportunity Maps are part of the Washington Department of Fish
and Wildlife's data viewer.
- Conservation Opportunity Maps
also are part of the LandScope
Washington's map viewer (administered by the Washington
Natural Heritage Program).
Conservation Toolbox for Planners is hosted by the Department
of Commerce, Growth Management Services.
- Biodiversity Project Web site content is housed by LandScope Washington and by the Recreation and Conservation Office.