FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2010
DNR program to ease impact of forest practices rules on forestland owners
Riparian Open Space Program to compensate landowners for trees in no-harvest zones along certain types of streams and rivers
OLYMPIA – A program administered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) seeks to compensate landowners who are prohibited by state rules from harvesting trees along rivers or streams that tend to migrate or abruptly change channels.
The Riparian Open Space Program, funded last year by the Washington State Legislature, is designed to pay landowners for trees on lands that have become, essentially, islands of timber within rivers or streams that are avulsing (changing their channels).
Washington State’s Forest Practices Rules prohibit timber harvesting in zones along rivers and streams based on the waterway’s size and type. The rules are intended to protect water quality and restore habitat for salmon.
The Riparian Open Space Program will consider applications from all owners of forestland with riparian areas that the state rules define as “channel migration zones.” The applicants’ land also must be classified as forestland by their county’s assessor’s office.
Landowners have until 5 p.m., June 7, 2010, to apply to the program. They can either donate or sell a permanent conservation easement on the land to DNR. The easement can cover the affected land and trees, or just the trees on the land affected by the riparian rules.
Applicants will be chosen by DNR based on consideration of their economic need for the funds, the ecological value of the trees and land affected by the state’s no-harvest rules, and the order in which applications are received.
To apply or find out more, visit www.dnr.wa.gov and search for the Riparian Open Space Program web page, or call 360-902-1427.
[EDITORS: The direct link to the Riparian Open Space Program web page is: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/BusinessPermits/Topics/OtherIndustryLandownerResources/Pages/riparian_open_space_program.aspx ]
Media Contact: Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149, firstname.lastname@example.org
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