Wash. forest owners show excellent compliance with state law



Contact: Cindy Mitchell, 360-791-9372

OLYMPIA – A newly released report from the state Department of Natural Resources shows that Washington’s forest landowners are approaching 100 percent compliance with the state’s forest practices rules.

The 2014-5 Compliance Monitoring Program report shows that in the most recent time period studied by DNR (2014-15), the state’s forest landowners were within 90 percent to 98 percent in compliance with state law in their timber harvests and forest road construction.

In several cases, state forest landowners’ compliance rate went up from the last report (2012-13) and in no cases were there any statistically significant declines in compliance rates.

The new compliance report “is very impressive and it should make most of us take a deep breath and relax because the compliance is pretty impressive,” said Tom Nelson, a member of the state Forest Practices Board, at the board’s meeting in Olympia this week. Nelson is also the Washington Timberlands Manager for Sierra Pacific Industries.

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 compliance results:

  • 98 percent on Forest Roads
  • 90 percent on Timber Haul Routes
  • 98 percent, 97 percent, 94 percent, 94 percent and 94 percent on timber harvests in the five different riparian management zones (areas near streams)
  • 94 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.

About the Washington Forest Protection Association

The Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA) represents private forest landowners growing and harvesting trees on about 4 million acres in Washington State.  Members of the 100-year-old association are large and small companies, individuals and families who practice sustainable forestry in Washington’s private forests.  For more information, go to www.wfpa.org.