Ecosystem Services Work Group
DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state trust lands, aquatic lands, and natural areas that provide a suite of ecosystem services that include carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and many others. Emerging environmental markets, such as Washington State’s carbon offset program (RCW 70A.65.170), provide new opportunities for the state to monetize these ecosystem services assets while reducing or removing greenhouse gasses and enhancing other ecosystem services. Ecosystem services can be monetized by generating carbon offset credits and other types of ecosystem service credits via projects.
In 2023, the Washington State Legislature directed DNR to conduct an ecosystem services asset inventory and develop an ecosystem services asset plan for DNR-managed lands. DNR will hire a technical consultant to assist with this work. The plan will outline how ecosystem services provided by DNR-managed lands can be monetized and marketed and will include recommendations for how to implement the plan. Specifically, the plan will include the following elements:
An inventory of DNR-managed lands that can be used to generate carbon offset credits or other ecosystem services credits
Potential options/markets for selling these credits
A marginal cost abatement model to inform highest and best use of DNR assets in carbon markets and other ecosystem services markets
A needs assessment and implementation plan for marketing ecosystem services assets to third-party developers
Policy or regulatory limitations to implementing the plan
Components for a virtual dashboard for accessing the ecosystem services asset inventory, model information, and requests for ecosystem services project proposals
Recommendations for the creation of an ecosystem services equity and innovation account
The Washington State Legislature also directed DNR to convene a Work Group composed of a balanced representation of experts and stakeholders to advise DNR and the technical consultant on conducting the inventory and developing the asset plan.
A list of the work group members will appear here when available.
This work is funded by a proviso in the 2023 Capital Budget (2023 c 475 §310(12)).
Contact Brianna McTeague, Ecosystem Services Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 564-200-3253 with questions and comments.
The work group will meet quarterly, or more regularly if needed, starting in March 2024 through June 2025. The Department will provide a progress report to the legislature by the end of 2024 and a final report of findings by June 2025.