Bill Lars0n (1946-1977)

WFPA Enters the Public Policy Arena

Bill Larson returned from Europe after WWII ended with the rank of Major and decided to re-enroll in college at the University of Washington, where he had graduated from the School of Forestry in 1940. In the late 1940s, the Association wasn't getting along with the State and their "relations with the State Division of Forestry have been reported as deteriorating." (The Enemy is Fire) In 1958, The Washington Forest Fire Association changed its name to the Washington Forest Protection Association. By this time, the state and federal forest fire programs had evolved and fire responsibilities were handed over to the newly created Department of Natural Resources.

Under Larson's leadership, the new Association would take on legislative matters, public information, and the protection of private forests from pests. Larson's reign ushered in a new era when major federal environmental regulations were adopted, such as the National Environmental Policy Act (1969) Clean Air Act (1970), Clean Water Act (1972) Endangered Species Act (1973) and at our state level, the State Environmental Policy Act of 1971, and the State Forest Practices Act of 1974. The new Forest Practices Rules would regulate all forest practices on state and private land, including logging and its impacts on the environment. The rules took effect in 1976.

The Association changes its name to Washington Forest Protection Association under Larsen’s leadership.