State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan
OLYMPIC EXPERIMENTAL STATE FOREST
Welcome to the Olympic Experimental State Forest (OESF)—270,000 acres of state trust lands on the western Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.
The OESF is unique among the forested trust lands in both management and purpose. The OESF is a place for applied research and monitoring to learn how to better integrate revenue production and ecosystem values across state trust lands. This is achieved through a strong emphasis on adaptive management - a formal process of improving land management practices in response to new information.
The long-term vision is of a productive, resilient, and biologically diverse commercial forest in which both revenue generation for the trust beneficiaries and ecological health are maintained through integrated management. The intent behind integrated management is to actively manage as much of state trust lands as possible using innovative silviculture, landscape level planning, and quick application of new knowledge.
The OESF Research and Monitoring Program furthers the OESF mission by implementing or coordinating research and monitoring projects; establishing and maintaining research partnerships; reaching out to stakeholders, tribes, and the general public; managing information; and linking management activities and new knowledge through a structured adaptive management process.
Read more about OESF History
This temperate rain forest ecosystem provides habitat for some of the healthiest salmon populations in the state and for the federally listed northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet.
Read more about the OESF environment
OESF is a participating forest in the Forest Service Experimental Forest and Range Network
Read more about the agreement and OESF Review Board meetings
Research and Monitoring Opportunities
DNR encourages, facilitates, and in some cases, conducts research and monitoring that addresses a broad range of topics related to forest management and conservation. We welcome all ideas and will make every effort to accommodate research projects if they are compatible with forest operations. The OESF advantages as a research site include:
- An actively managed forest allows field experimentation
- Large land base can accommodate landscape-level studies
- Adjacent Federal lands provide opportunities for experimental controls
- Well maintained road system provides easy field access
- Extensive, regularly updated, and non-proprietary datasets are available for spatial analyses
- Existing research and monitoring program provides framework and priority management questions
- An example of temperate rain forest ecosystem with extreme rainfall and tree growth rates
Past and current research and Monitoring
The OESF is a place for applied research and monitoring of innovative silviculture techniques, wildlife habitat development, and riparian restoration. Science-informed adaptive management relies primarily on research and monitoring to provide new, relevant information for increasing confidence in current management or developing new management options.
Read more about research and monitoring in the OESF.
Planning and management
DNR manages the OESF with the goal of integrating revenue production (primarily from timber harvest) and conservation across the landscape. The revenue from state trust lands supports public schools, universities, and other trusts’ beneficiaries including Clallam and Jefferson Counties.
Policy direction for management of the OESF is provided by the 1997 State Trust Lands HCP and the 2006 Policy for Sustainable Forests. The policies in these documents are implemented through a series of planning processes, such as the sustainable harvest modeling, forest land planning and timber harvest scheduling.
DNR currently is developing Forest Land Plan for the OESF. The Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the OESF Forest Land Plan was released in October, 2013.
The sustainable harvest level for the OESF is set at 576 million board feet for the decade 2004-2014. This is estimated to generate gross revenue of $144 million for the trust beneficiaries, and to support management and investments in the lands to keep them healthy and productive into the future. Management of trust lands also supports local economies by supplying forest-related jobs such as logging, wood processing, recreation, etc.