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McLaughlin Cares About WA Public Lands

"I'm a conservationist. That is what God put us here for. To take care of the land.”


McLaughlin Cares About WA Public Lands

By Shari Dovale

Steve McLaughlin is running for Pubic Lands Commissioner because he cares about the land.

It is that simple.

We had an opportunity recently to sit down and get to know Steve McLaughlin, candidate for Washington Public Lands Commissioner. We found him to be open, forthright, and excited to talk about the land.

McLaughlin was raised to care for the land. He took those lessons very seriously. Three generations deep in the Pacific Northwest, McLaughlin obtained degrees in Biology and Public Health through the University of Oregon. He accepted a commission in the United States Navy, where he served for 25 years.

His love for the land came to good use during his service as, “The Navy is land managers.” he explained. “The Navy Shore Infrastructure is land management. It is land management in the forest, and in the tidelands, and it is land management in the waterways.”

Through his career, he served in a variety of leadership roles including command. One of his proudest moments is his efforts to help preserve one of the last tracts of lower Puget trough old growth Forest. This was accomplished through naming the forest after Navy Forester, Walter Briggs.

He has held a variety of positions, serving Washington State and it’s citizens. Additionally, McLaughlin is the founding President of Liberty Watch of Washington, which is a non-partisan political organization dedicated to preserving the rights and freedoms of all Washingtonians as well as providing relief services to citizens affected by disaster.

We asked McLaughlin about the hot topic in the Western States, and that is the debate between the Federal versus the State Government in managing the Public Lands. Though he did not indicate his position on the overall issue, he did have this to say:

I am going to work very hard with all the land management agencies in the state to stop the adversarial relationship that has developed between the people and the land management agencies. The people didn’t start this fight. The government started this fight. And I’m gonna stop it.

And the way I am going to stop it is I am going to make the Department of Natural Resources the model for how we work with the people, in a positive collaborative manner.

Across all the stakeholders, from the Conservationists to the Environmentalists, to bring us together, to come up with Science-based, peer-reviewed, solutions to make sure that we are managing our lands properly.”

McLaughlin brings an enormous amount of experience and qualifications with him, and it is worth taking the time to get to know him. He genuinely cares about the land, and intends to manage it properly for our future generations.

I’m a conservationist,“ McLaughlin says. “That is what God put us here for. To take care of the land.”

It’s that simple.





Learn more about Steve McLaughlin at

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