Outdoor Access and Responsible Recreation Strategic Plan

A mountaintop stands above a meadow with noble firs in the middle distance in the Morningstar Natural Resources Conservation Area.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources manages 3 million acres of state trust lands, 2 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands, and 97 natural areas covering nearly 170,000 acres. These lands include 1,300 miles of  designated trails and more than 160 recreation sites, including 80 campgrounds. 
DNR has adopted 10 landscape-level recreation plans but does not have a statewide recreation plan that sets priorities for recreation management and outdoor access. Following a 21 percent increase in visitation from 2019 to 2020, a trend that is expected to continue, the agency is developing the Outdoor Access and Responsible Recreation Strategic Plan, a statewide road map to guide future landscape-level planning and ensure natural, cultural, and tribal resources are respected and protected throughout the state, while offering high-quality, accessible recreation opportunities. 

Plan Overview

The intent of the strategic plan is to develop a shared vision and strategy for recreation and outdoor access on DNR-managed lands. It will guide decision-making for future management practices and ensure DNR-managed lands provide sustainable, diverse, and high-quality outdoor access and recreation opportunities that enrich the quality of life in Washington state.
A key part of this work will be to articulate what responsible and sustainable use of DNR-managed lands looks like for generations to come, and to ensure that all outdoor users understand and practice conservation and responsible use. The final strategic plan will be used to guide and support legislative and budget requests over the next 10 years and set agency priorities for recreation management.

Engagement Process Overview

DNR is engaging with Tribes, state-trust beneficiaries, recreation partners and stakeholders, and the public to collect input on the development of the OARR Strategic Plan.

Engagement to Date

In 2023, the Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz made a commitment to co-develop the OARR Strategic Plan in partnership with Tribes. Following input from Tribes at the July 2023 DNR Tribal Summit, DNR held four regional tribal forums across the state in September and October with the goal to develop the purpose statement and goals of the OARR Strategic Plan together. 
DNR also kicked off engagement with statewide recreation partners at a July workshop, and with the Board of Natural Resources, which represents state-trust beneficiaries, in the summer of 2023.

Planned Engagement for 2024

January and February Public Meetings  
DNR is hosting public planning meetings in January and February 2024. All are invited to participate. Please RSVP using this form to receive meeting information and ensure we have space for you. 
At each meeting, DNR will share information about the OARR Plan, review the high-level draft goals DNR has developed to frame the plan, and invite participants to provide input on how goals can be achieved and what should be addressed.
Meeting Dates and Locations:  
January 18, 9:00 am – Noon: Ellensburg, WA 
January 23, 9:00 am – Noon: Lacey, WA   
February 1, 1:00 – 3:30 pm: Virtual via Zoom 
February 6, 9:00 – 11:30 am: Virtual via Zoom
February 6, 6:00 – 8:30 pm: Virtual via Zoom 
(Please RVSP to receive meeting details)  
These engagement activities will be facilitated by an independent third-party firm, Triangle Associates, that DNR contracted with to develop the plan.  


DNR is targeting release of a final OARR Strategic Plan by the end of 2024. Tribes and the public will have an opportunity to learn about and comment on a draft plan before a final version is released.


If you would like to receive updates regarding public meetings or other ways to engage, please sign up for updates at the top of this page, or email OARRPlan@dnr.wa.gov





*Please note that the OARR planning process has changed since these initial presentations were given based on feedback from Tribes to reflect DNR's commitment to co-manage the Plan's development.

Public Engagement

Interested Parties 

*Please note that the OARR planning process has changed since these initial presentations were given based on feedback from Tribes to reflect DNR's commitment to co-manage the Plan's development.