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The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manage over of forest, range, agricultural, and commercial lands for the people of Washington State. DNR also manages of aquatic areas which include shorelines, tidelands, lands under Puget Soundmarker and the coast, and navigable lakes and rivers. Part of DNR's management responsibility includes monitoring of mining cleanup, environmental restoration, providing scientific information about earthquakes, landslides and ecologically sensitive areas. DNR also works towards conservation, in the form of Aquatic Reserves such as Maury Island or the Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Areamarker.

The main sources of income come from forestry and geoduck harvesting, rather than based on taxation. Revenue generated from previously mentioned natural resources is used to fund the construction of public schools, colleges, universities and other government institutions, as well as county and state services.

The head of DNR is an elected official, referred to as the Commissioner of Public Lands. The current Commissioner of Public Lands is Peter Goldmark who was elected on November 4, 2008

Management of Public Lands

Aquatic Reserves

Aquatic Reserves Areas which are designed to “conserve, preserve, restore, and/or enhance” aquatic habitats and species. There are four main goals of an Aquatic Reserve. The first goal is to conserve the native habitats of plants and wildlife species including forage fish, salmonids, and migratory birds. The second goal is to conserve the functions and native processes of the nearshore ecosystem. The third is to maintain the territory, habitats and species through education and opportunities for public involvement. The fourth goal is promote responsible management of recreational, commercial and cultural uses of the reserve that relate to the previous goals.

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