Forest owners have strong compliance with state forestry rules

Ashley BachBLOG

A new report from the Washington Department of Natural Resources shows that the state’s private forest landowners continue to have excellent compliance with state forest practice rules.

The 2016-17 Compliance Monitoring Report shows that forest landowners are between 87 percent and 100 percent in compliance with state law in their timber harvests and forest road construction.

In three cases, state forest landowners’ compliance rate had a statistically significant increase since 2010-11, and in no cases were there any statistically significant declines in compliance rates.

In the report, the state checks forest practices application over a 2-year period for how well the conditions on the ground after the completion of the harvest or road construction meets state forest practice rules and matches what the applicants said they were going to do.

A recap of the 2016-17 compliance results:

  • 95 percent on Forest Roads
  • 90 percent on Timber Haul Routes
  • 92 percent, 95 percent, 95 percent, 87 percent and 100 percent on timber harvests in the five different riparian management zones (areas near streams)
  • 92 percent on harvests in Non-Forested Wetlands and 97 percent on harvests in Forested Wetlands

The positive results are a testament to the ongoing success of the Forests & Fish Law, a historic, science-based set of forest practices regulations that protect 60,000 miles of streams running through 9.3 million acres of state and private forestland. The law, passed by the Washington Legislature in 1999, also created the Compliance Monitoring Program.