Community Forest Program Development
   

In the 2018 capital budget, the legislature included a proviso instructing the department to learn more about Washington state community forests owned by a range of entities, including cities, counties, tribes, and NGOs. The department must perform an ownership and economic analysis of an existing community forest, and compile a list of potential community forests from around the state, representing the aforementioned owner-entities. If you are interested in learning about the budget proviso work, or if you are interested in submitting a potential community forest for the requested list, please continue reading.

Call for project forms

The Washington State Legislature has asked DNR to develop a list of community forest projects. Both potential and existing projects are eligible, and they can be owned and managed by the state, by other governmental entities, by tribes, or by nonprofit groups.
 
What is a community forest? Broadly, it’s a working forest owned and managed by or on behalf of a local community. The legislature is responding to interest from around Washington in exploring how community forests can provide jobs, enhance rural economic development, conserve working forests from conversion to development, protect drinking water and water quality, enable recreation, and generate other locally-driven economic, social, and environmental benefits. 
 
Overall, community forests are about empowering communities to take their future into their own hands. 

Objectives

The purpose of building a list of projects is to: 
  • Improve understanding of community forests and the economic, social, and environmental benefits they can deliver; 
  • Improve understanding of the factors that contribute to success for community forests; 
  • Document near-term examples of community-forest projects that are ready or close to ready for acquisition, expansion, or other investments; and 
  • Share aspirational examples of communities that could benefit from a community forest in the future. ​
DNR is seeking potential community-forest projects that meet the objectives stated above and will present a prioritized list of projects to the legislature. 

Opportunity

Proposed Projects should reflect the following goals of community forestry:
  • The community is involved in the establishment of the community forest. 
  • The community forest is owned and managed by or on behalf of a community.
  • The governance structure ensures collaboration and community participation in management decisions.
  • The community has access to the value and benefits of the forest that support and reinforce community priorities. 
  • The forest is permanently protected from conversion to development.

Who can submit projects?

  • Cities
  • Municipalities
  • Counties
  • Nonprofit nature conservancies
  • Tribes
  • State agencies
  • Other qualified nonprofits
To learn more about community forests and the proposal process, please reference our FAQ, or contact our partners in performing this work: communityforests@walandtrusts.org
  • Cherie Kearney, Columbia Land Trust. 360.608.8131
  • Erik Kingfisher, Jefferson Land Trust. 360.379.9501 ext.103
  • Tom Sanford, North Olympic Land Trust. 360.417.1815 ext. 6