For the first time in 25 years, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is setting levels for sustainable timber harvest for eastern Washington forests, and the public can provide input.
DNR is launching the process to set harvest levels for the next decade (2025-2034) on forested state trust lands across Washington.
Although DNR set the sustainable harvest level for western Washington in 2019, it was 1996 when the agency last set levels for eastern Washington. This is the first time the process will take into account the Forest Health Strategic Plan for eastern Washington.
To calculate a sustainable harvest, DNR uses modeling techniques to optimize revenue while meeting goals for healthy forest ecosystems, habitat for threatened and endangered species, and recreational opportunities.
DNR manages about 40% of forest lands (810,000 acres) for habitat conservation. Another 130,000 acres are protected in Natural Area Preserves and Natural Resources Conservation Areas.
State law requires that DNR set a sustainable harvest level — the amount of timber scheduled for sale — so that the 2.1 million acres of Washington’s forested trust lands are managed to address forest health and climate change, provide wildlife habitat and recreation, and generate reliable revenue for schools and county services.
The public will be invited to provide scoping comments for topics to be considered during the state Environmental Policy Act review for harvest levels.
DNR is holding two informational webinars about the process later this month, one for eastern Washington and one for western Washington.
The eastern Washington webinar is Wednesday (Nov. 10) from 6 to 7 p.m. Register at dnr-wa-gov.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_LVd0OsjLSQmhFxcgby_VvA.
For more information, go to https://www.dnr.wa.gov/shc.