Carbon and Forest Management Work Group

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages over 2 million acres of forested state trust lands across the state. On these lands, DNR generates revenue for counties, universities, and other trust beneficiaries, primarily through timber harvest. DNR also manages state trust lands for a suite of ecological goals, such as clean water and habitat for threatened and endangered species. 
In its 2023 legislative session, the Washington State Legislature directed DNR to establish a work group to examine the relationship between forest management and atmospheric carbon sequestration (absorption) and storage in DNR-managed forests. The work group will collaborate on approaches related to the following:
  • Conserving and managing older, carbon-dense, structurally complex forest stands located on DNR-managed lands; 
  • Increasing carbon sequestration and storage in forests and harvested wood products from DNR-managed forestlands;
  • Generating predictable beneficiary revenue;
  • Maintaining timber supplies that support local industry; and 
  • Addressing economic needs in rural counties.
To inform these efforts, DNR and external researchers will explore a range of pertinent topics including the existing and future demand for wood in Washington, carbon accounting and quantification methodologies, and the potential effects of proposed forest management strategies on wood supply, rural counties, and trust beneficiaries. This information will be provided to the work group to deepen their understanding of these topics and to help them develop long-term, workable solutions. 
Expected to span two years, the project will include a progress report in late 2023 and a final report of findings in late 2024 or early 2025. This work is funded by a proviso in the 2023 Capital Budget (c 474 §3130 3a).


The members of the work group will appear here soon. 

Statutory Authority

The 2023 Capital Budget (c 474 §3130 3a) grants this work group its authority. 


Contact Duane Emmons, Assistant Deputy Supervisor for State Uplands, at or 360-902-1347 with questions and comments.

Related Links


DNR is anticipating a minimum of 12 meetings during the 2023-25 biennium (between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2025). All meetings will be held remotely over Zoom and will be open to the public. If you are interested in attending a meeting as an observer, check this space for an announcement. The first meeting of the work group is expected to occur in September or October of 2023.