Forest Legacy Program

Leaving a Forest Legacy in Washington State

Forest Legacy is a federal grant program designed to protect working forests under threat of conversion to non-forest uses, most commonly for commercial or residential development. The program is administered by the USDA Forest Service, and in Washington is carried out by the state Department of Natural Resources.
Through the program, federal grant funds pay for conservation easements that remove the development rights from forestland. This allows the landowner to continue long-term forestry on a property that might otherwise be sold for development. Keeping land in traditional forest uses also aids protection of water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, cultural resources, and recreation opportunities.
Washington was one of the first states to participate in the Forest Legacy Program, and has used it successfully to reduce urban sprawl in eight counties since 1993. Through 2017, more than 47,000 acres of forestland have been permanently protected from development.

Program Goals and Criteria

The Forest Legacy Program guidelines direct states to determine how and where the program should be applied. DNR prepared its first Assessment of Need in 1993 and updated it in 2004 to cover more areas around the state. In 2010, DNR published its Statewide Forest Resources Assessment and Strategy, which affirms the 2004 Legacy Program goals and places the program in context with other tools and strategies available for dealing with forest resource issues in Washington. The Forest Legacy area map was updated in 2016. All applications received must be located in a Priority A or Priority B area to be consider for the program. GIS files are available on request.

2020 Forest Legacy Program Applications

Forest Legacy Applications for projects to be funded in federal fiscal year 2020 (beginning October 2019) will be accepted through August 31, 2018. The Project Scoring Guidance provides guidance to the National Review Panel on how to score individual Forest Legacy Program projects for consideration in the President's budget. Successful applicants who receive funding will be required to sign the State's Conservation Easement.

Forest Legacy Map Information

This map shows the locations of the properties funded by the Forest Legacy Program in Washington. To see the property boundaries and facts about each site, click on an icon, select "zoom to" on the pop-up-box, and then click the parcel. If you are looking for a specific property you can select it from the bookmarks tab on the tool bar. Use the Forest Legacy Interactive Map Viewing Tool below or open in full screen.

Federal Civil Rights

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, DNR does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. However, should a person wish to file a discrimination complaint, please write to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington D.C. 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.