OLYMPIA (Feb. 7, 2003) — Alan Soicher, a Van Zandt resident with over 10 years of experience in natural resources management, has been appointed by Governor Gary Locke to the Washington State Forest Practices Board.

“It is a great honor to serve on the Forest Practices Board,” said Soicher. “The forests of Washington State are a tremendous natural resource. I look forward to working with the Forest Practices Board to find the right balance for our forested watersheds.”

Soicher, a licensed geologist and hydrogeologist, has work experiences ranging from river restoration to watershed monitoring to timber sale layout and design.

Over the past several years, Soicher has served on a number of forestry-related committees in Washington State. From 1999-2001, he served as a small forest landowner representative to the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee. Today, Soicher continues to serve on the Lake Whatcom DNR Landscape Planning Committee to help develop a landscape plan for management of state forests around Lake Whatcom.

“Alan brings a wealth of experience and a strong technical background to the board,” said Bob Kelly, a current member of the Forest Practices Board and director of Nooksack Natural Resources. “Forest practice rules need to be guided by science, and Alan is able to interpret many of the technical details that come before the board. His knowledge and understanding of the issues will help us find effective solutions to forest practice problems.”

During his career, Soicher has mostly worked with environmental non-profits such as the Evergreen Land Trust, where he works as project manager. He also serves as the Nooksack Tribe’s Restoration Coordinator.

Soicher manages forestland in Whatcom County that is certified under the standards of the international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC-certified land in Whatcom County is managed to protect ecosystem functions while selectively logging to produce wood products. FSC-certified lumber from these forests has been sold to projects such as the North Cascades National Park’s Environmental Learning Center and IslandWood on Bainbridge Island.

The Washington Forest Practices Board established rules designed to protect the state’s natural resources while also maintaining an economically viable timber industry. It was created by the state legislature in 1975. The 12-member board consists of six public officials and six members of the general public. As a member of the public, Soicher takes a seat vacated by longtime board member Judy Turpin. After being appointed by the governor, each member of the general public serves a four year term. Two other new appointees were also announced: Sherry Fox, the owner of Tree Management Plus, Inc., an independent logging contractor; and David Hagiwara, the Deputy Executive Director for the Port of Port Angeles.

For more information, contact: Alan Soicher, 360.592.3123.