Forest Health
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Forest Health 
Trees dying at the edge of a forest 

Forest Health Program

Forests in eastern Washington face serious threats due to decades of fire suppression and past management practices that changed tree species and structure, putting them at higher risk of damage by disease, insects, and wildfire. Climate change is expected to worsen these challenges. Learn more in our October 2014 report to the Washington State Legislature Eastern Washington Forest Health: Hazards, Accomplishments and Restoration Strategy

The 2014 Forest Health Highlights Report is now available.

Find Forest Health Aerial Survey data on this interactive web service: This is the place where the most current Annual and Cumulative Aerial Survey data will be displayed. The Cumulative Aerial Survey data set contains several million polygons, so to speed up the loading process, the user has to zoom in until “15 Year Mortality Indicator 1999-2013” title (on the left) switches from grey to black. Users can create their own PDF, JPG, and PNG maps of the field of view by clicking on the printer icon in the upper right corner.


Goldmark issues Forest Health Hazard Warning for Several Counties - august 2012
Click here if your property is within the warning area and you received a letter from DNR.

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark is taking necessary steps under state law to protect eastern Washington forests from insects and diseases. A Forest Health Hazard Warning has been designated for portions of Okanogan, Ferry, Klickitat and Yakima counties. The action is in response to a persistent worsening of forest health conditions: the acres of trees that have been damaged by forest insects and diseases over the past decade is 150 percent greater than in the 1990s, 200 percent greater than in the 1980s, and 175 percent greater than in the 1970s. 

State law was revised in 2007 making the Commissioner the state’s lead on forest health issues. Where current management actions by agencies and landowners are unable to stabilize trends in uncharacteristically severe insect or disease damage, the Commissioner may engage the advice of an expert panel to develop recommendations. Many areas of eastern Washington forests have become over-crowded, or are dominated by tree species that are more susceptible to damage. Based on the panel recommendations, specific geographic areas of focus have been identified and land managers can be informed of best practices to remediate the problems.

Each year, an amount of wood fiber equivalent to more than 13 percent of annual forest growth is lost to diseases.  Destructive forest insects can take out substantial portions of standing volumes when at epidemic levels in local areas. Exotic pests continually threaten Washington's forests. Improved forest health reduces timber losses and helps landowners meet present and future resource management objectives. 

Additional Resources


Forest Health Hazard Warning Boundaries for Klickitat and Yakima Counties
Forest Health Hazard Warning Boundaries for Okanogan and Ferry Counties

Recent Damage within Warning Area for Klickitat and Yakima Counties


Recent Damage within Warning Area for Okanogan and Ferry Counties
 Cumulative Tree Mortality and Predicted Risk
 2011 Western Spruce Budworm Activity in Eastern Washington State
 2011 Pine Bark Beetle Activity in Eastern Washington State
 Total Acres Damaged by Forest Insects and Disease in Washington State

Washington Forest Health Highlight Reports

Animated Maps of Insect & Disease Damage:
State and federal forestry agencies have cooperated to produce annual aerial surveys of insect and disease damage for over 40 years. The annual maps have been compiled into an animated progression of damage by the US Forest Service Forest Health Protection Program, PNW Region.

Washington DNR’s Forest Health Program
The Forest Health Program provides technical assistance on tree and forest health care for a variety of public and private landowners including:

  • State
  • Farm
  • County
  • Woodland
  • Municipal 
  • Urban managers
  • Industrial
  • Residential owners  

Program services include technical expertise, available through numerous forest health workshops sponsored by a variety of agencies. On-site prescriptions for improving forest and tree health are routine. Applied research and cooperative studies with universities and government agencies provide state-of-the-art forest and tree health care prescriptions for landowners. Demonstration sites that show benefits of various forest health practices are scattered across the state.

Annual detection, ranging from aerial and ground surveys to pheromone (attractant) trapping, provides early warning of pest epidemics or reports on new pests. Close ties with western states, Canadian provinces and federal agencies provide timely alerts about threatening forest pests. 

Annual Forest Health Highlights and other publications identify current pest problems and provide answers for dealing with them.

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:

USDA, Director
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.

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Karen Ripley
Forest Health Program Manager

Resource Protection Division
General Questions & Information
Washington State Department of Natural Resources
Fax 360-902-1757