Forest Resources

DNR manages working forests on 2.1 million acres of state trust lands to provide quality habitat, clean water, and other public resources, as well as a stream of sustainable revenue to support public school construction and other trust beneficiaries. We maintain the balance between sustainable production of natural resource revenue, protection of public resources, and ensuring healthy, natural habitats through:

Earth Sciences Consultation

To ensure public safety and viable forest practices, our timber sales, rock and mineral leasing activities, and large-scale forest land planning efforts on state trust lands receive input and reviews from geology, morphology, hydrology and other scientific experts in our Earth Sciences Program.

Growing State Forests

Following timber harvests, we invite bids on silviculture contracts to replant state trust forests using seedlings from our Webster Forest Nursery. We also employ technical experts in silviculture: the art and science of planning, growing, and maintaining the health and quality of forests to meet management goals including trust revenue, quality natural habitat, healthy forests and other management objectives.

Habitat Conservation Plan

The Washington Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan is an extensive, multi-year agreement with the federal government that guides DNR’s revenue-producing activities on forested trust lands in western Washington while protecting habitat for at-risk species, such as the northern spotted owl. In addition to meeting, monitoring and reporting its performance with conservation plan goals, DNR’s forest management activities, including timber sales, are subject to public review through the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

Olympic Experimental State Forest

Our ongoing program of research and monitoring in the Olympic Experimental State Forest (OESF) helps us to discover more effective ways to care for forests. The long-term vision for the OESF is of a productive, resilient, and biologically diverse commercial forest that supports native wildlife species and provides perpetual revenue for trust beneficiaries.

Sustainable Harvest Calculation

A Sustainable Harvest Calculation authorized by the Board of Natural Resources sets goals for a sustainable volume of timber that DNR will seek to grow and auction from all state trust lands west of the Cascade crest in Washington. This level of timber harvest is intended to balance revenue production with ecological values such as healthy forest ecosystems and habitat for threatened and endangered species.

Webster Forest Nursery

The L.T. Mike Webster Forest Nursery is a self-funded program that produces 8 million to 10 million seedlings annually to be planted on DNR-managed state trust forests statewide. The nursery also makes several million seedlings available each year that owners of small private forest may purchase to help meet the replanting requirements of the State Forest Practices Act.