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Keep eye on Franz’s land policies

DAILY SUN NEWS EDITORIAL

The general election is in the books, but we’re just now starting to deal with the aftermath.

That is true in Eastern Washington, where we face the prospects of four years of Hilary Franz as state lands commissioner.

Franz, a Democrat and environmental activist, is politically left of out-going Commissioner Peter Goldmark of Okanogan, and far left of her general election opponent, Republican Steve McLaughlin.

That’s worrisome.

As the leader of the state Department of Natural Resources, Franz is poised to possibly do even more damage than her predecessor, in terms of managing lands, accessing public forests and preventing wildfire.

Before being elected, she worked for Futurewise, an activist group whose mission includes social and environmental justice. Futurewise is one of the extreme groups that sues counties and states when it doesn’t get its way on things like logging, water and wells, zoning and more.

All of which means it’s up to rural residents, recreationists and outdoor enthusiasts to keep an eye on Franz and her policies. Just because the election is over doesn’t mean it’s time to retreat and wait while access is restricted, forests burn and rural economies suffer.

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