Rights-of-Way Across State-Owned Lands

When someone wants to cross another landowner's property, they must obtain a ‘right-of-way’ from that landowner. This requirement also applies to lands owned by the state and managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Most of the rights-of-way that DNR grants to cross state-owned lands are in the form of permits or easements for roads, utilities, and other uses that benefit the public in some way.

Granting Legal Access to Cross State Trust Lands

Anyone seeking a legal right to cross state trust lands must submit an application to DNR, supply surveys and other required documents, and pay for the rights received.
DNR charges for granting road use permits and easements. Those eligible to receive these rights are typically forest and agricultural landowners who need access to valuable materials and other government entities needing access for utilities, roads, and other uses that benefit the public. 
DNR does not routinely approve requests for residential rights-of-way and easements. Private residential use of forest roads frequently conflicts with DNR's land management activities and poses safety concerns for other road users. 
If you believe that you require access across DNR-managed lands, please contact the rights-of-way specialist at the DNR region office in your area.

Access to State-Owned Aquatic Lands

DNR also may grant rights-of-way across state-owned aquatic lands, such as the bedlands of Puget Sound, Hood Canal and the coast; many tidelands and beaches; and navigable lakes and rivers across the state. Visit the Aquatic Leasing and Land Transactions web page for more information.

Rights-of-Way Documents