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Strategic Forest Retention

Project Info | Statistics Tables | Maps | Acknowledgements

Retention of High‐Valued Forest Lands at Risk of Conversion to Non‐Forest Uses in Washington State

Forest land converstionThe 2007 Washington State Legislature directed the University of Washington College of Forest Resources and its Northwest Environmental Forum to produce recommendations “for retaining the highest valued working forest lands at risk of conversion to non-forest uses.” Since 2004, Forum dialogues have brought together over 400 participants from 94 organizations, representing the full range of interests concerned about the future of Washington’s forests. Informed by in-depth research from the College, a remarkable consensus about the nature of the threats and the steps that must be taken to conserve our state’s working forests has emerged.

The 2008 Forum defined “working forests” as “sustainably managed for commodity products as
well as ecological and social values” and requiring a “permanent and un-fragmented land base.”
The Forum made a series of major recommendations for the 2009 Legislature.

  1. Fund the maintenance and enhancement of the Land Parcel Database.
  2. Establish right to practice forestry legislation.
  3. Support Washington Farm Forestry Association and Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requests to fully fund the Family Forest Fish Passage Program (FFFPP) and Forestry Riparian Easement Program (FREP) programs, for DNR requests for expert forestry assistance for small landowners, and for landowner incentives to provide benefits for threatened and endangered species.
  4. Support the central Puget Sound Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) pilot project.
  5. Fund the DNR forest health initiative.
  6. Create a Legislative Task Force to address in detail a full complement of additional issues such as tax reform, regulatory stability, incentives and ecosystem services payments.

The description of all 2006-2008 Forum recommendations is in Appendix B.

Adobe Acrobat Icon Here's a link to read or download the entire report in PDF.

Washington State Forestland Database: Statistics Tables


Table 1. Washington State Forestland Parcel Acres by Owner Type and County

Table 2. Risk of Forest Conversion by Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA)

Table 3. Summary of High Value Forest Lands at Risk

Table 4. Small forest landowner, Industrial and Tribal forested acres in western Washington
counties with positive conversion risk, and total forested acres

Table 5. Forested acres and annual loss rate percent by timbershed

Table 6. Currently Available Mitigation and Incentive Programs in Washington

Table 7. Other States' Incentive Programs

Table 8. Incentives Proposed or Under Consideration (from the Northwest Environmental Forum)

Table 1.
Washington State Forestland Parcel Acres by Owner Type and County
Tribal Industrial
Tribal SFLO
County Total
Adams 3,759 28,004     31,763
Asotin 39,794 134,658   994 175,445
Benton 1,284 9,383     10,667
Chelan 60,260 127,220     187,480
Clallam 261,485 81,337 3,896 1,084 347,803
Clark 42,016 128,761     170,777
Cowlitz 418,491 124,499   16 543,006
Douglas 11,698 116,208   296 128,203
Ferry 126,367 183,298 56,628 5,272 371,564
Franklin 2,338 30,060     32,397
Garfield 161,413     161,413
Grant 3,393 6,867     10,260
Grays Har 555,518 134,700 41,382 15,646 747,246
Island 299 76,239     76,537
Jefferson 141,068 62,378   96 203,542
King 237,371 171,150   1,823 410,344
Kitsap 24,376 116,703 10,429 1,279 152,788
Kittitas 181,472 104,607   30 286,109
Klickitat 225,848 273,961 75,766 156 575,730
Lewis 604,033 248,426   198 852,658
Lincoln 14,889 216,230   72 231,190
Mason 229,339 101,326   3,126 333,790
Okanogan 33,468 439,367 29,014 1,857 503,705
Pacific 381,005 70,023   137 451,166
Pend Orei 86,020 110,447   1,004 197,471
Pierce 235,462 180,364   312 416,139
San Juan 76,378     76,378
Skagit 191,991 118,523   1,522 312,036
Skamania 81,905 33,497     115,402
Snohomish 92,235 216,846   10,219 319,300
Spokane 39,021 527,052     566,073
Stevens 303,898 623,554   2,891 930,344
Thurston 94,966 163,911   1,196 260,073
Wahkiakum 91,195 28,640     119,835
Walla Wal 2,991 79,567     82,558
Whatcom 89,203 138,678   3,709 231,590
Whitman 199,304     199,304
Yakima 37,861 58,084 697,995 2,944 796,884
State Total 4,946,321 5,701,661 915,111 55,878 11,618,971

Strategic Forest Retention: Data Derived Maps

Statistics tables produced from the Washington State Forestland Database have been spatially represented in several maps. The maps are part of the report prepared by RTI and the Northwest Environmental Forum submitted to the Washington State Legislature and the Washington Department of Natural Resources. They are available to view or copy and save from the Maps Page.


Gordon Bradley, Ph.D. Principal Investigator
Brian Boyle Northwest Environmental Forum Leader
Luke Rogers Forest Research Scientist/Data Base
Andrew Cooke Forestry Research Consultant/GIS
Robert Rose Research Consultant
Ellen Matheny Report Production
Clara Burnett Report Production
John Perez-Garcia, Ph.D. Infrastructure Report
Sergey Rabotyagov, Ph.D. Landowner Survey Report

This research has been funded by the Washington State Legislature, through a pass-through grant to the Washington Department of Natural Resources for the College of Forest Resources. The Northwest Environmental Forum has been supported by its participant organizations and others, who are committed to the sustainability of Washington’s forests and devising market-based incentives that materially improve the ecological outcomes from working forest management.

The Family Forest Foundation and the Washington State Farm Forestry Association advocated for funds to develop a database of family forestlands in Washington State, resulting in a 2006 federal budget allocation of $500,000 for a "private landowner database," culminating in a USDA Forest Service contract with the Rural Technology Initiative to create the Washington State Forestland Database. This project could not have been completed without their combined efforts.

We thank Matthew Donegan of Forest Capital Partners for his “Four-part Framework for Preserving Working Forests,” and allowing us to reproduce his paper in Appendix G. The image on the front page is by permission of Getty Images, John Humble, photographer.

Forum Sponsors

Audubon Washington
Cascade Hardwood LLC
Cascade Land Conservancy
Conservation Northwest
Family Forest Foundation
Forest Capital Partners, LLC
Forest Legacy Investments
Green Crow Management Services
Green Diamond Resource Company
Hancock Timber Resource Group
Henry M. Jackson Foundation
Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation
Lanoga Corporation
Longview Fibre Company
Merrill & Ring, Inc.
Murray Pacific Corporation
Olympic Resource Management LLC
Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc.
Port Blakely Tree Farms
Preston Gates & Ellis LLP
Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation
The Bullitt Foundation
The Conservation Fund
The Nature Conservancy
The Pacific Forest Trust
The Trust For Public Land
Trillium Corporation
Washington Alder
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Washington Farm Forestry Association
Washington Forest Law Center
Washington Forest Protection Association
Washington State Conservation Commission
Washington State Department of Natural
Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation
Weyerhaeuser Company
Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation

School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
USDA Forest Service State & Private Forestry
WSU Cooperative Extension
The Rural Technology Home Page is provided by the College of Forest Resources. For more information, please contact the Rural Technology Initiative, University of Washington Box 352100 Seattle, WA 98195, (206) 543-0827. © 2000-2004, University of Washington, Rural Technology Initiative, including all photographs and images unless otherwise noted. To view the privacy policy, click here.
Last Updated 10/13/2022 12:34:19 PM