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WaDNR calls for action in preventing landslide damage

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Department of Natural Resources is calling legislators to invest in policies that will help reduce potential damage caused by the Rattlesnake Ridge landslide in Union Gap and other possible landslides in the future.

Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands, asked state lawmakers Thursday for actions the DNR feels is necessary in addressing landslide hazards.

Franz called for the passing of a bill (Senate Bill 6235) to make sure logging doesn’t destabilize hills, and to allow review of the Oso landslide in Snohomish county to help assess risks, according to a news release from the DNR.

The Oso landslide occurred over three years ago, and the cause is still unknown.

According to experts, periods of heavy rainfall becoming more frequent in Washington could lead to more landslides in the future.

“We do not have the resources or tools we need to best safeguard the public from landslide risk,” Franz said in the news release.

A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Thursday in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks.

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