Good Neighbor Authority
A faster path to healthier forests
Achieving Washington’s forest health and wildfire resilience goals truly requires an all lands, all hands approach, where various forestland owners collaborate across property lines at a landscape scale. To that end, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Federal Lands Program lends its expertise and staff in overseeing forest restoration work, including timber sales, on federal lands across the state.
Since 2017, when DNR and the federal government signed their first Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) agreement, DNR has brokered GNA agreements with every major national forest in the state. That has opened the door for DNR to help accelerate work in federal forests that:
- Reduces wildfire risk to habitat, communities, and state trust lands.
- Creates greater forest and watershed resilience against drought, insects, disease and wildfire.
- Expands economic opportunities in rural areas, as businesses perform this much-needed work across state and federal lands.
GNA is a tool stemming from the 2014 Farm Bill. It allows DNR to hire and collaborate with local companies and interests to perform a variety of watershed, rangeland and forest restoration work on USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land, leveraging resources and providing additional capacity to federal partners. The agreement represents an important step toward mobilizing the work required to meet the challenging and broad needs of Washington’s valuable forests.
In 2017, DNR developed the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan for eastern Washington – the first of its kind in the nation. This plan tasked DNR and its partners to treat 1.25 million acres of at-risk forest across all ownerships east of the Cascades. More than 42 percent of these acres are on federal land. GNA aligns with the call to increase the pace and scale of treatments on these lands through state and federal partnerships, providing mutual benefits to agencies and the public. This work also aligns with a shared stewardship agreement between Washington state and the Forest Service.
Revenue made from GNA timber sales within a national forest goes into the state’s Natural Resources Federal Lands Revolving Account. That account can be used to restore watersheds and make other habitat improvements in the same national forest.
Are you a company interested in GNA forest restoration work? Click here to view currently advertised timber sales, where auction packets are listed by month. Within each packet, GNA sales are listed under “Federal Sales." To apply for GNA noncommercial restoration contracts, access the state’s WEBS system; click here for more information.