Forest Practices Rules and Board Manual Guidelines

Forest Practices Rules

The Washington State Forest Practices Rules (Title 222 WAC) establish standards for forest practices such as timber harvest, pre-commercial thinning, road construction, fertilization, and forest chemical application. The Forest Practices Board, an independent state agency, adopts forest practices rules to give direction on how to implement the Forest Practices Act (RCW 76.09) and Stewardship of Non-industrial Forests and Woodlands (RCW 76.13). The rules, which are designed to protect public resources such as water quality and fish habitat while maintaining a viable timber industry, are under constant review through the Adaptive Management Program.

Forest Practices Board Manual

The Forest Practices Board Manual is an advisory technical supplement to the Forest Practices Rules (Title 222 WAC). The board manual is arranged by subject matter by section.
You can download or view the Forest Practices Board Manual or review by sections.

The Forests and Fish Report

Leading up to the historic Forest Practices Habitat Conservation Plan was the Forest and Fish Report. Issued in 1999, the document was produced by a collaboration of tribes, forest landowners, local governments, environmental groups, and others. These diverse stakeholders outlined several ways to protect water quality and aquatic and riparian-dependent species on non-federal forestlands in Washington.
The Report identified four goals:
  • Provide compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act for aquatic and riparian-dependent species on state and private forestlands
  • Restore and maintain riparian habitat to support a harvestable supply of fish
  • Meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act for water quality
  • Keep the Washington timber industry economically viable

The Forests and Fish Law

Following the release of the Forests and Fish Report was passage and enactment of the state’s Salmon Recovery Act of 1999 (sometimes called the ‘Forests and Fish Law’). This act directed the adoption of the goals of the Forests and Fish Report into the State Forest Practices Rules. Those rules are guided by the state’s Forest Practices Board, which set standards for timber harvests, pre-commercial thinning, road construction, and other forest practices on millions of acres of public and private forestland.

The Forest Practices Habitat Conservation Plan

The Washington State Forest Practices Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is a direct result of the Forests and Fish Report. The HCP was approved in 2006 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Service. Covering 60,000 miles of stream habitat across 9.3 million acres of private and state forestlands, this 50-year agreement protects the habitat of aquatic species, supports economically viable and healthy forests, and creates regulatory stability for landowners.


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