The Forest Stewardship Program is a nationwide program which provides advice and assistance to help family forest owners manage their lands. The program is a cooperative effort between the USDA Forest Service and state forestry agencies. In Washington, the program is administered by the Department of Natural Resources Small Forest Landowner Office (SFLO).
The Forest Stewardship Program helps you assess resource conditions and forest health, identify potential problems and opportunities, and recommends management practices to help achieve your objectives. The program can help you develop and implement a Forest Stewardship Plan to guide future management and help you qualify for financial assistance, current use taxation, recognition, and certification programs.
Forest and Range Owners Field Days
Forest and Range Owners Field Days offers a hands-on, “out in the woods”, educational experience for the whole family. Attending the Forest and Range Owners Field Day will prepare you to plan and execute sound practices, enabling you to accomplish your management objectives, reduce risks, and protect your financial investment. Participants can attend outdoor seminars offered throughout the day on dozens of forest stewardship topics. These field days provide educational opportunities for participants of all ages and skill levels, regardless of property size.
June 22 - Tonasket
July 27 - Sumas
August 24 - Forks (details coming soon)
Forest Stewardship Coached Planning Courses
Coached Planning courses are offered to forest landowners throughout the state of Washington. These short courses typically include one evening class per week for six to nine weeks. The classes are designed to help forest landowners develop customized management solutions to meet their individual ownership objectives. Participants identify their property ownership goals and develop a comprehensive forest stewardship plan. This stewardship plan may qualify landowners for cost-share assistance for plan implementation, as well as recognition as a Stewardship Forest, and a reduction in current-use property tax rates.
Starting September 24 - Preston
Starting October 3 - Whidbey Island
Ties to the Land
Who will care for your land when you’re gone? Will it be kept intact and protected, or will it be divided up and sold off in pieces? Will it become a source of conflict between surviving family members? What is the long-term future that you want for your property? The Ties to the Land Workshop explores these questions and others in succession planning. The purpose of this workshop is not to provide legal or tax advice. Rather succession planning is the human side of estate planning, and the critical first steps to take before sitting down with a professional estate planner.
May 21 - Bellingham
June 1 - Port Angeles
June 8 - Newport
June 8 - Olympia
June 15 - Chehalis
June 29 - Port Townsend
DNR Foresters and a Wildlife Biologist are available throughout the state to provide on-site advice specific to your land and ownership.
Landowner assistance foresters advise landowners on timber harvest, resource protection, leaving trees for wildlife, reducing wildfire risk, and many other topics.
A DNR Forester will visit your property, answer your questions, offer forest management advice customized to your goals, and can get you started on creating a Forest Stewardship Plan.
Forestland owners of ten or more acres are eligible for an advisory site visit.
Owners of smaller acreages can receive consultation from DNR by telephone or e-mail in addition to the information available in the following publications:
• Backyard Forest Stewardship in Western Washington
• Backyard Forest Stewardship in Eastern Washington
Funding may be available to help you implement a variety of forest conservation and improvement practices:
Supported by grant funds from the USDA Forest Service, DNR administers the Eastern Washington Forest Landowner Cost-Share Program to improve forest health and reduce the threat of bark beetle and wildfire damage in Eastern Washington. Non-federal owners of forestland in Eastern Washington, who own a total of no more than 5,000 forested acres within the state of Washington, are eligible to participate. For more information call 360-902-1706 or click here to submit an application online.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers financial incentive programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), to promote conservation practices on farm, forest, and ranch lands statewide.
These programs may also be able to offer financial assistance to landowners who wish to hire a private consulting forester to develop their Forest Stewardship Plan.
Washington State University Extension, cooperating with DNR, and others provides educational programs and materials for family forest owners. Offerings include multi-week Forest Stewardship Coached Planning Shortcourses to help you develop a Forest Stewardship Plan, Regional Forest Owners Field Days, Forest Stewardship University online, and more. Go to forestry.wsu.edu for more information.
Landowners with a DNR - approved Forest Stewardship Plan are eligible to display the “Stewardship Forest” recognition sign, provided free by DNR. A Forest Stewardship Plan may also help you meet the “management plan” requirement for participation in USDA-NRCS administered financial incentive programs, current use property taxation, and American Tree Farm System and Forest Stewardship Council certification programs.
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 Ave SW
Washington D.C. 20250-9410
or call 202.720.5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.