washington State Forest legacy progam
Forest Legacy is a federal grant program designed to protect working forests under threat of conversion to non-forest uses, most commonly commercial or residential development. The program is administered by the USDA Forest Service, and in Washington is carried out by the state Department of Natural Resources.
Through the program, federal grant funds pay for conservation easements that remove the development rights from forest land. This allows the landowner to continue long-term forestry on a property that might otherwise be sold for development. Keeping land in traditional forest use also aids protection of water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, cultural resources and recreation opportunities.
Washington was one of the first states to participate in the Forest Legacy program, and has used it successfully to reduce urban sprawl in seven counties since 1993. Through 2013, over 37,000 acres of forest land are permanently protected.
program Goals and Criteria
The Forest Legacy program guidelines direct states to determine how and where the program should be applied. DNR prepared its first Assssment of Need in 1993 and updated it in 2004 to cover more areas around the state. In 2010 DNR published its Statewide Forest Resources Assessment and Strategy which affirms the 2004 Legacy program goals and places the program in context with other tools and strategies available for dealing with forest resource issues in Washington.
The program map link below will take you to a series of maps by county that show the highest priority areas for conservation, as identified in the Assessment of Need. (A PDF version of the statewide map is available from the File list to the right).
Forest Legacy Program Map
Federal Civil Rights
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, DNR does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. However, should a person wish to file a discrimination complaint, please write to:
Office of Civil RIghts
Room 326-W, Whitten Building
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington D.C. 20250-9410
or call 202.720.5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.