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Forming Evergreen Forest Trust
The initial groundwork of what would become Evergreen Forest Trust was first laid in the mid-1990s when Joe Euphrat of US Forest Capital LLC in Corte Madera, Calif., had the idea of using tax-exempt Community Forestry Bonds to purchase land, which would eliminate the threat of it being developed. He approached King County officials and environmental groups, who were supportive of the idea.
"This acquisition really does represent a pioneering model ...," said Gerry Johnson, president of Evergreen Forest Trust's board of directors. "We expect that the application of this mechanism will have nationwide significance."
Metropolitan King County Councilman Larry Phillips, a Democrat from Seattle who sits on the board of Evergreen Forest Trust, said the organization was created so the state wouldn't see a replay of past conflicts between the timber industry and government. Its board of directors contains representatives from the timber industry, environmental groups and the University of Washington.
Phillips said the timber wars of the 1980s "created the need for a new approach to forest management in the Northwest, particularly in the state of Washington."
"Our goal is to acquire, manage and protect in perpetuity forest land in the state of Washington," he said.