Small Forest Landowner Office

Message from Tami Miketa, Manager of the Small Forest Landowner Office:
We are in the midst of some very uncertain and unprecedented times, and our level of anxiety is extremely high. The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and can cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Here is a link to some tips and thoughts about coping with stress and ways to help others that have really inspired me at this difficult time, and I would like to share with you.
Many of you took the time to respond to my note to readers. We have taken those responses and posted them here. Remember, there's light at the end of the tunnel, and together, we can get through this!

Small Forest Landowner OfficeAt the Small Forest Landowner Office, we seek to provide you and other family forest owners with technical and financial assistance that helps you meet your objectives for your lands -- whether it's to enhance fish and wildlife habitat, reduce fuels, increase recreation opportunities, improve forest health, produce revenue or all of the above.

Financial Assistance Programs

  • Family Forest Fish Passage program helps landowners replace culverts and other stream crossing structures that prevent trout, salmon and other fish from reaching upstream habitat.
  • Forestry Riparian Easement program compensates eligible landowners in exchange for a 50-year easement on “qualifying timber” on their property.
  • Rivers and Habitat Open Space program acquires permanent forestland conservation easements for unconfined channel migration zones and habitat that is critical for state threatened or endangered species.
  • Cost share opportunities for eastern Washington may be available to non-federal owners of fewer than 5,000 acres forestland seeking to improve forest health and reduce the threats of bark beetle and wildfire damage.

Regulation Assistance Programs

  • Forest Stewardship program provides advice and regulation assistance to help family forest owners manage their lands.
  • Regulation Assistance program can assist you on any forest practices related questions and with the Forest Practices Application process.
The diversity of Washington state forestlands -- from the rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula to the dry coniferous forests of eastern Washington -- presents a wide range of management opportunities and choices. The Small Forest Landowner Office is here to help you. Contact us today.

Small Forest Landowner Demographic and Road Survey

This is the chance for small forest landowners to tell their story about the great job they are doing maintaining their roads.
The 1999 Salmon Recovery Act required all forest roads be brought up to new forest road standards, as outlined in the 1999 Forests and Fish Report, and established in the Forest Practices Rules. 
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in consultation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Department of Ecology (DOE), is required to monitor the extent, effectiveness, and status of small forest landowner roads. Also, as the agency responsible for carrying out provisions of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) in Washington State, the DOE monitors water quality to determine whether activities meet the state's water quality standards.
DNR, in consultation with the Small Forest Landowner Office Advisory Committee, is required to develop a plan for evaluating the status of small forest landowner roads.  DNR, DOE, and WA Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) developed an online road assessment survey in order to gain sufficient data to determine the status of forest roads on the properties of small forest landowners. Your information in this survey will help DNRs legislative request for increased funding for the Small Forest Landowner Office and will help to show that small forest landowner roads are well maintained and are not contributing significant sediment to our streams.  

2020 Small Forest Landowner Demographic Report

In RCW 76.13.005 the Legislature recognized that a large portion of private forest and woodland acreage in Washington is owned by landowners with less than five thousand acres who are not in the business of industrial handling or processing of timber products (that is, “small forest landowners”). Along with a range of benefits provided to society that include clean water,  carbon storage, scenic qualities and wood products, properties owned by small forest landowners provide valuable habitat for salmon and many of the state's other fish, wildlife, and plant species, and many habitats can be protected and improved through informed forest resource stewardship. 
RCW 76.13.110 requires the DNR Small Forest Landowner Office (SFLO) to provide a report to every four years the Forest Practices Board (Board) and the Legislature that provides:  
  • Estimates of the amount of small forest landowner acreage divided into specific acreage size class groupings. 
  • The number of small forest landowners who own the land in each of the specific acreage size class groupings. 
  • The number of parcels of small forest landowner land held in contiguous ownerships of 20 acres or less, including the percentage of improvements on those 20-acre parcels by improvement type.
  • The watershed administrative units in which a significant portion of land is owned by small forest landowners. 
  • The number of forest practices applications filed per year by small forest landowners.
  • Recommendations on ways the Board and the Legislature could provide more effective incentives to encourage continued management of nonindustrial forests and woodlands for forestry uses in ways that better protect salmon, other fish and wildlife, water quality, and other environmental values.
  •  A description of particular trends; whether, how, and to what extent the forest practices act and rules contributed to those trends; and whether, how, and to what extent: (i) The Board and legislature implemented recommendations made in the previous report; and (ii) implementation of or failure to implement those recommendations affected those trends.
The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington recently published a report titled “Washington’s Small Forest Landowners in 2020 Status, Trends, and Recommendations After 20 Years of Forests and Fish”. It includes updated small forest landowner demographic data, trend and policy analyses, and recommendations to improve mitigation measures for small forest landowners and improve retention of working forestland held by small forest landowners. 

Are you interested in finding out about other incentive programs?

The Cascades to Coast Landscape Collaborative created a search tool called the Conservation Program Explorer. This tool helps to raise awareness of available programs and connect landowners to agencies and organizations that implement these programs. Click here to view the Conservation Program Explorer and find out about other incentive programs in your area.