Encumbered Lands Steering Committee

During the 2017-2019 biennium, the Washington state legislature directed DNR to work with Wahkiakum, Pacific, and Skamania counties, as well as other stakeholders, to assess options and develop a long-term solution for encumbered lands – land that is unable to produce revenue due to restrictions on harvesting imposed by the Endangered Species Act - within these counties. Per the Legislature’s direction in ESSB 6095 Sec. 3059, DNR convened the Encumbered Lands Steering Committee in August of 2017. The Department’s deputy supervisor for state uplands chaired the committee. The Steering Committee worked together to assess potential solutions and ultimately developed the Encumbered Lands Pilot Project. The proposal would fund the purchase of replacement forestland in the counties and/or would use a trust land exchange and reinvestment strategy to remedy the loss of revenue-generating capacity due to encumbered timber lands. It fulfilled the state’s responsibilities to trust beneficiaries while alleviating disproportionate economic impacts to rural, resource-dependent communities. The steering committee has not met with DNR representatives since early 2022.


Click here to view the members of the committee.

Statutory Authority

ESSB 6095 Sec. 3059 grants the committee its authority.


Contact Sarah Ogden, Trust Land Specialist, at Sarah.Ogden@dnr.wa.gov with questions and comments.