Frequently Asked Questions
This page provides answers to the questions we are asked most frequently about fpOnline. Click on the links in the following list to jump to a specific section on the webpage. You can also search for a specific word by pressing the 'Ctrl' key and the 'F' key on your keyboard at the same time to bring up your web browser's 'Find' tool.
- Questions about the fpOnline Project Timeline
- Questions about User Participation
- Questions about how fpOnline Will Work
- Questions about fpOnline's Project Team
- Questions about Interoperability
- Questions about Funding
Questions about the fpOnline Project Timeline
When will fpOnline go live for users?
The target date for fpOnline to go live is January 2025.
What are the major milestones for this project?
Project milestones are when fundamental work products are expected to be completed. Examples include, but are not limited to, releasing the Request for Proposal (RFP) to hire a software vendor, hiring the software vendor, Vendor Discovery, Testing beginning, and Training beginning.
Questions about User Participation
How can I participate?
You can participate by committing to being part of one of the three advisory committees: Landowner/Consultant Advisory Committee, Reviewer Advisory Committee (Cities, Counties, State Agencies, Tribes), and Forest Practices Program Advisory Committee. See page 3 of the November newsletter for more information.
How can I stay informed?
fpOnline project staff have set up the following channels to help future users of fpOnline track the project:
- Sign up for GovDelivery email notifications
- Check the fpOnline website for monthly Newsletters and Status Reports
- Check WA Tech’s fpOnline project dashboard
- Participate on an advisory committee (See page 3 of the November newsletter for more information.)
- Attend your Region Timber, Fish, and Wildlife (TFW) or Upper Columbia Basin (UCB) meetings when fpOnline is posted on the agenda
- Attend your member affiliate meetings such as Washington Forest Protection Association, Washington Farm Forestry Association Annual event, Northwest Indian Fish Commission Quarterly meetings
- Attend fpOnline Town Hall events
I have a question that is not on this list. How can I get it answered?
You can either attend one of the meetings listed above, or email us at email@example.com
Questions about how fpOnline Will Work
What will fpOnline do?
fpOnline will allow you to fill out a Forest Practices Application (FPA) or a Water Type Modification Form (WTMF) online, electronically sign the form, electronically pay for the applicable FPA fee, and either electronically create a map or attach an existing PDF or TIFF file of your map and submit the entire packet to DNR electronically. The most frequently used forms such as the Notice of Transfer and Appendix A. Water Type Classification Worksheet will be available to fill out online. The least-used forms can be attached as a PDF or TIFF file.
What is the fpOnline team doing to ensure that there are no bugs in the application?
The project will have cycles in which pieces of the fpOnline product are built and then iteratively tested by end users and by a professional, dedicated Quality Assurance testing team. The end user testers are imperative to the success of fpOnline being intuitive, easy to use, and bug-free.
What is the fpOnline team doing to ensure that the new application is user-friendly?
The system will be designed and built with a user-friendly experience in mind. We will rely on the Advisory Committees to help the vendor to understand pain points and preferences, and to advise on and test the design and flow of the new fpOnline as it is being built. End users who participate in testing will have opportunities to provide feedback during the testing process.
What features will fpOnline have?
fpOnline will allow applicants to submit a Forest Practices Application (FPA) or a Water Type Modification Form (WTMF) entirely online, with electronic signatures and electronic payments. Applicants will also be able to create maps online using the new GIS/Mapping Tool and upload supporting documents/files in a variety of formats (e.g., PDF, geo-referenced PDF, TIFF and JPG files and geodatabases and shapefiles).
Can I still submit paper FPAs after fpOnline goes live?
Yes. DNR will continue to offer the paper Forest Practices Application (FPA) process for applicants once fpOnline goes live.
Will DNR make applicants submit electronic FPAs ONLY in the future?
No. Based on current business practices, DNR expects that some small forest landowners will only use paper Forest Practices Applications (FPAs) to conduct forest practices activities.
Will I be able to submit a hybrid application - part online, part paper?
Applicants must pick either using fpOnline or submitting a paper application. No hybrid option will be available. If an applicant creates an application through fpOnline, they will need to enter all required information electronically in order to submit the application. However, applicants will be able to upload attachments to fpOnline applications, such as hand-drawn maps.
How is DNR planning to keep data secure within fpOnline?
Security is of the highest importance. The Washington State Technology Agency (WA Tech) has specific laws, rules, and policies that DNR must follow. DNR also has internal policies regarding security.
All FPA payment transactions will be managed through a third-party bank to ensure the highest levels of federal banking security regulations are implemented to keep applicants’ banking account information secure.
How is the fpOnline team developing key requirements for the final application?
The fpOnline team has developed high-level requirements that capture the current business processes associated with FPA and WTMF workflow. Subject matter experts assisted with this exercise in 2017, 2018, 2022, and 2023. The software vendor that is hired will also conduct a workflow and discovery exercise to ensure they are configuring the workflow to track with actual business processes. If it is discovered during end user testing that the workflow does not follow the business process, DNR will direct the vendor to fix these pieces until it does follow the process.
Why is DNR creating fpOnline?
DNR’s current FPARS system is outdated and does not have the ability to be altered to convert current forms into electronic forms, accept on-line signatures, accept debit/credit card payment, or create an electronic map. Landowners and city, county, and state agency reviewers have been requesting an on-line permitting system since the 2000 and we want to meet that customer request.
How will DNR make sure fpOnline doesn't add more work to what users already do to submit an application?
The goal of fpOnline is to replicate what is currently being processed through the manual paper process. The requests or requirements that exist now for additional information will continue, only in an online environment.
Questions about fpOnline's Project Team
Who is on the fpOnline Team?
There are three DNR sponsors: Alex Smith, Saboor Jawad, and Donelle Mahan. There are several professional consultants: the Project Manager, Business Analyst(s), Organizational Change Management Team, Quality Assurance consultants, the software vendor team, and the professional quality assurance (QA) testers. Also, the project team includes internal Forest Practices program staff from the Division and Regions, internal DNR Information Technology Division staff, DNR Finance staff, and Senior Managers.
Who can I reach out to if I need help while fpOnline is being developed?
Donelle Mahan, the co-business sponsor and product owner, can assist with answering questions or ensuring you are able to engage with the right person to answer your question. We also may place your question and answer on our Frequently Asked Questions list to assist others. You can reach Donelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After fpOnline is live, will there be a designated person or help desk to answer questions?
Yes. DNR will hire a System Administrator to serve as the main person to assist with daily questions and staff the fpOnline Helpdesk, along with other DNR staff who will be able to assist applicants.
I like talking to the DNR Forest Practices Office and Field staff. Will fpOnline limit how much I can talk to them?
No. Although the ability to submit FPAs and WTMFs electronically will reduce the need to drive to a Regional DNR office to submit your forms and payment, this will not decrease the need to conduct follow-up when questions need to be answered. You will always be able to call a DNR office person or field forester when you have questions, too.
Questions about Interoperability
Which existing software applications will fpOnline be linked to?
Some of the software apps we expect to be able to interface with are internal DNR finance apps, OneWA (when it is ready), the ability to add the mapping information into the Forest Practices Risk Assessment Mapping Tool (FPRAM), and the Forest Practices Application Mapping Tool (FPAMT).
Questions about Funding
How is fpOnline being funded?
The State Legislature has approved State General Fund dollars to pay for fpOnline resources, software, and maintenance and operational costs.