Community Forest Trust
Working forests in Washington are a vital part of our economy and culture. However, since the 1980s, more than one sixth—17 percent—of Western Washington forests have been converted to other land uses. As working forests vanish, so do many benefits for communities including local timber, natural resources jobs, clean air and water, and recreation.
To address this, in 2011, DNR worked with the state Legislature to create a new tool for local community partners to participate in protecting working forestlands that benefit their communities—the Community Forest Trust. It’s a new category of working forestland, to be held by the state, actively and sustainably managed by DNR, and used by the local community consistent with their local values.
In 2013, the Teanaway Community Forest in Kittitas county became the first Community Forest Trust property in Washington.
How does the community forest trust work?
Community forest candidates are nominated by local communities, selected by DNR, and funded jointly by the community and the Legislature.
Once acquired, a working forest management plan will be developed by DNR and the local community for each Community Forest. The plan will specify financial, conservation, and recreation objectives. Community Forest Trust lands must be able to support themselves financially through revenue generating activities.
How can your community participate?
DNR is working with community leaders to identify at-risk working forests to acquire and create a long-term vision for that community’s working Community Forest.
The first Community Forest Trust nominations will act as pilot projects, allowing DNR to develop the process and an effective program for the future. We encourage community groups to nominate potential Community Forests for DNR’s consideration. Projects selected will be taken to the Legislature to request the state portion of the funding for acquiring the property.
How can local communities nominate a community forest?
DNR is currently taking nominations for lands to be included in the state Community Forest Trust program. Adopted lands will be funded during the 2015 through 2017 budget biennium.
Interested communities should complete the nomination form and submit required materials to DNR by June 2, 2014.
How can local communities get started?
- Identify sources of funding for the local share of funding
- Gain broad local community support for Community Forest nomination
- Identify and secure broad community support for proposed forest management principles for nominated Community Forest
- Contact Andrew Hayes, DNR's Executive Policy Advisor, to discuss the next steps in the nomination process
Executive Policy Advisor