DNR Forum - Conversion of Washington’s Working Forest
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DNR Forum - Conversion of Washington’s Working Forest 
 

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DNR Forum - February 28 to March 4, 2011

Conversion of Washington’s Working Forest to other uses, such as Home Sites and other Development

This page provides background information to help Forum participants understand more about issues regarding forestland conversion to homes or other development, and DNR’s involvement with forests and forest landowners across the state.

Four out of the six goals of DNR’s Strategic Plan for 2010 to 2014 directly relate to sustaining healthy forests in the state for this and future generations of Washingtonians: managing state lands sustainably, improving forest practices rules and compliance, preserving forest cover and protecting working forests and agricultural lands from conversion to development or other uses, and developing renewable energy resources.


STATE TRUST LANDS
Managing 2.1 million acres of some of the most commercially productive forests in the United States, DNR works hard to ensure that forest products for business, home construction or weekend projects are grown and harvested in ways that protect core environmental values.

Green Certification
‘Green certified’ label represents a promise that timber harvest and other forest management activities are conducted in ways that maintain the forest’s biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes. Currently, all DNR-managed forested state trust lands are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Standard (2.1 million acres).  In addition, 166,000 acres also are certified under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Pacific Coast Regional Standard.
DNR certification of state trust lands
Forest Stewardship Council  (FSC) 
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)   
 
Policy for Sustainable Forests
Overarching guidance for managing all forested state trust lands statewide.   

Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan
Most of the forested state trust lands, 1.8 million acres, are managed with the habitat commitments of the 1997 HCP.


Forest Practices
DNR supports the state Forest Practices Board, assists forest landowners in ways to protect public s=resources on their forest lands when carrying out timber harvest and other activities. The Forest Practices Rules establish standards for forest practices such as timber harvest, pre-commercial thinning, road construction, fertilization, and forest chemical application (Title 222 WAC).

Small forest landowner office
Recognizing the significant contributions small landowners make to protecting Washington's public natural resources, the Small Forest Landowner Office strives to equip landowners with all the necessary tools and information they need to keep their land in forestry use.
The Forest Stewardship Program is a nationwide program which provides advice and assistance to help family forest owners manage their lands. The program is cooperatively funded by the USDA Forest Services and state forestry agencies. At the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Forest Stewardship Program is administered by the Small Forest Landowner Office (SFLO).


Statewide Forest Assessment and Strategy
DNR published a document that paints a broad “state of the forests” picture that has not been developed previously. It provides a baseline of conditions, trends and threats to Washington’s forests to be tracked over time and provides a gauge of where conservation and management actions are making a difference. The Strategy can help DNR and its public and private partners achieve national forestry goals set by the U.S. Congress in a way that is most relevant to Washington’s unique forests and their challenges.

Major assessments and strategies include working forests and the threat of conversion to other uses, restoring forest health and addressing wildfire hazards, and protecting biodiversity and habitat conservation. Other issues relate to water quality and how forests support the restoration of Puget Sound, and the role of urban forestry in the connectivity between these areas and the working forest landscapes above.


The Future of Washington’s Forests
Prepared in response to the Washington state Legislature, this is a collaborative effort by DNR, University of Washington, Cascade Land Conservancy, and CommEnSpace, with many other contributors. The 2007 Future of Washington Forests is a comprehensive look at the future of forests in our state— economic, recreational and environmental trends influencing the forest products industry and secondary manufacturing sectors.
Details about the numbers used for the forest conversions were extrapolated from pages 60 and 61 of the document. More details are in the U of W technical papers. 


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