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Questions & Answers

Recreation & Public InfoBusiness & PermitsScience & Environment
RecreationForest Practices Conservation & Restoration 
Students & TeachersLeasing & Land Transactions Geology & Earth Sciences 
Neighbors & Concerned CitizensSchool Funding & Trust Beneficiaries Aquatic & Marine Sciences 
Fire Information & Prevention Government Forestry & Forest Ecology 
Homeowners Landowners, Industry & Contractors Watershed, Wetlands & Riparian Sciences 
Legislative Information Timber Sales SEPA 


Recreation & Public Information

Recreation
Q: Where can I launch a boat for recreational use?
A: Get information about recreation on water and land from the Washington Parks and Recreation Commission at www.parks.wa.gov.

Q: How do I find out about national forests or national parks in Washington?
A: The US Forest Service manages the national forests in Washington:

The National Park Service manages the three national parks in Washington:

The National Park Service also manages other national recreation areas, historical parks, historic sites, and reserves in Washington.

Q: Can I print out trail maps from DNR’s website?
A: Yes. DNR trail maps to help you find hiking and biking trails on state forests, Natural Areas, and other public lands in Washington can be downloaded or viewed online.

Q: What are the rules for dogs on DNR trails and recreation lands?
A: Most DNR trails require dogs to be leashed. Dogs are not allowed in Natural Area Preserves. Look for signs at each facility or for more information about the rules, contact a DNR region office.

Q: Where can I get copies of DNR trail maps, state forest maps, aerial photos, and orthophotos?
A: As the official mapping agency for the State of Washington, DNR has many photo and map products to help with resource mapping. Many maps and aerial photos can be viewed online at no charge, others can be purchased online, and some are available from DNR region offices.

Q: How do I locate and find things to do in Washington’s major state forests?
A: A list of DNR-managed state forests and other recreation areas, can be viewed online. Or, contact a DNR region office to pick up maps and brochures about the major state forests:

Q. How can I find wheelchair-accessible recreation sites?
A: The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has an online version of the Washington State Accessible Outdoor Recreation Guide. The guide will help you find sites in every region of the state, plus it lists driving directions, special features, and other important information about each site.

Q: Where can I get information about fishing or hunting in Washington, such as licenses, limits, areas, and season openings?
A: Information about fishing and hunting in Washington is available from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

  • Get fishing information online or by calling 360-902-2700.
  • Get hunting information online or by calling 360-902-2515.
  • Download a map showing where you'll need a Discover Pass to hunt on DNR-managed lands

Students & Teachers
Q: Does DNR offer special job experience opportunities for people age 18 to 25?
A: Young people can contribute to the stewardship of Washington’s natural resources through the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC). The WCC is a way to gain job experience and earn money for college or to repay student loans. WCC service projects focus on improving recreation and public access and enhancing the stewardship of Wildlife Areas managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Natural Area Preserves and Natural Resources Conservation Areas managed by DNR.

Neighbors & Concerned Citizens
Q: How do I acquire a fire wood cutting permit for state trust lands?
A: DNR has opportunities for the public to cut firewood in approved areas on forested state trust lands. For instructions specific to your region of interest visit our Firewood Cutting Permit webpage.

Fire Information & Prevention
Q: How do I find current information about fires and report an emergency?
A: Stay connected with DNR by checking our Fire Information and Contacts page – Here you’ll find contact information by region and stay updated on important DNR, federal, and local fire district response (Mobilization Act) fires.


Q: How do I figure out my counties burn risk?
A: Access DNR’s burn risk map and choose your count to find out your fire danger risk and county contact information.

Homeowners
Q: How do I authorize my mooring buoy?
A: Residential waterfront property owners should fill out this application card and return it to the appropriate aquatic district office of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Before you install your buoy, you also will need to obtain any of the following permits if required by the local jurisdiction, including City permits if located within an city limits, Shoreline Permit from the County in which the buoy is to be located, a Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) from Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife, and a permit from the US Army Corp of Engineers.

If you are not a residential waterfront property owner you need to fill out the Mooring Buoy/Boatlift License Application Form and submit it to DNR.

For the complete process visit our step-by-step instructions.

Legislative Information
Q: How do I request public records?
A: Washington law requires state and local agencies to make public records available to the public. This law, the Washington State Public Records Act RCW 42.56, supports the public’s right to be informed about what their government is doing. To obtain information on the request process, visit our website.

Business & Permits

Forest Practices
Q: How do I get information about logging rules and other Forest Practices Rules in Washington?
A: Standards for logging, road construction, chemical applications, and other activities on private lands are described in the Forest Practices Rules.

Q: What’s a good way to start learning about Washington’s Forest Practices Rules?
A: Download the easy-to-use guide, Forest Practices Illustrated. The guide gives small forest landowners, loggers, and natural resource professionals an overview of the rules that govern forest practices in Washington. Copies on CD are also available from DNR region offices.

Q: Where do I go if I have a complaint, concern, or question about a possible violation of Forest Practices Rules?
A: Call or e-mail the DNR region office nearest you with questions or concerns about forest practices.

Q: Who creates the rules that set the standards for forest practices such as timber harvesting, pre-commercial thinning, road construction, and so on?
A: The Forest Practices Board—an independent state agency chaired by the Commissioner of Public Lands—adopts rules that protect public resources, such as water quality and fish habitat, while maintaining a viable timber industry.

Q: Where can I see a copy of a DNR Habitat Conservation Plan?
A: DNR has two habitat conservation plans—the Forest Practices Habitat Conservation Plan guiding the management of private and state forestlands, and the State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan guiding the management of approximately 1.8 million acres of DNR-managed forestland within the range of the northern spotted owl. DNR is developing an Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan for state-owned aquatic lands.

Leasing & Land Transactions
Q: How do I purchase Public lands from DNR?
A: DNR sells parcels of state trust land by public auction when the property is no longer suitable to manage for long-term trust revenue.

--View the latest information about trust land auctions 
--Get on our mailing list to be notified when parcels come up for auction

School Funding & Trust Beneficiaries
Q: Where do I find information on how funding from state trust lands is benefiting my county?
A: Each quarter, DNR reports the earned income and projected revenue from State Forest Lands
(formerly known as Forest Board lands) in several Washington Counties. Harvesting timber provides most of this income. Most of the income is allocated to the taxing districts that provide county services — roads, schools, hospitals, libraries and fire districts.

Government
Q: What is the State Trust Lands Map and how do I get a copy?
A: The State Trust Lands Map illustrated the Washington Department of Natural Resources goals, mission, and programs, to the legislature, public and trust beneficiaries. This map shows the extent of distribution and location of trust lands and diversity and breadth of public lands.

For a copy of the State Trust Lands Map order here.

Q: Where can I get copies of DNR trail maps, state forest maps, aerial photos, and orthophotos?
A: As the official mapping agency for the State of Washington, DNR has many photo and map products and services to help resource mapping. Many maps and aerial photos can be viewed online at no charge, others can be purchased online, and some are available from DNR region offices.

Q: What are orthophotos and does DNR provide them?
A: Orthophotos are aerial photographs that have been geometrically corrected to remove distortions caused by camera angle, lens distortion, and other factors. This produces an aerial photo view that is equivalent to a map for accurately measuring distances. DNR orthophotos on CD or in print can be ordered online.

Q: Is there a map of Washington that shows lands owned by government agencies?
A: Yes. You can download the State Trust Lands Map or order a paper copy of the map.

Landowners, Industry, & Contractors
Q: How can I find out about gathering mushrooms, berries, wood, or other forest products from state forestland?
A: You don’t need a permit for recreational harvesting of mushrooms, berries, or limited amounts of certain other forest products from state trust lands, but there are limits on how much you can gather for noncommercial use. Learn about current harvest opportunities, guidelines, and limits by contacting the DNR region office nearest you.

Q: How can I find out about gathering firewood or other materials from forestland after a timber harvest?
A: Current opportunities, guidelines, and limits for harvesting from state lands are available from the DNR region office nearest you.

Q: Where can I find out about invasive or noxious weeds?
A: Each county in Washington has a noxious weed board. The phone numbers and links to the websites of Washington counties are online. DNR targets weeds on state-owned lands—5.6 million acres of forests, agricultural lands, prairies, lakes, rivers, Puget Sound, and bays along the coast. DNR also partners and coordinates efforts with other state programs and counties.

Q: What if I find a rare plant growing on my land?
A: The plants growing on your land are yours. Local ordinances may require you to provide some protection if you are developing the land. Some jurisdictions may offer tax advantages, such as open space credits, to maintain a rare plant species on your property. To find out more, contact the Washington Natural Heritage Program.

Q: Can I just move rare plants away from a site that I’m going to develop, and then move the plants back afterwards?
A: Keeping rare plant populations and their habitats in their natural condition is strongly encouraged by the Washington Natural Heritage Program. Conserving rare plant species by introducing them to new sites or reintroducing them to a former site has had mixed results and is best considered experimental, not a solution.

Q: Where can I find reliable sources of native plants that I can use in a restoration project on my land?
A: Many nurseries carry native plant species. Get more information from the Washington State University Cooperative Extension program.

Timber Sales
Q: How do I participate in State Trust lands Timber Sales?
A: Timber sale auctions are held every month in each of our six region offices across the state. In order to obtain information on upcoming timber sales in your region – please review the appraisal packets for upcoming timber sales and timber sale auction bidding procedures and forms for current, changing and up-to-date information for bidders.

Science & Environment

Conservation & Restoration
Q: Where can I find out about rare and high-quality native ecosystems, rare plants, and select rare animal species in Washington?
A: Providing an objective, scientific basis for deciding what needs to be protected and how is the mission of the Washington Natural Heritage Program. Landowners, state and federal government agencies, consulting firms, planning departments, and conservation groups use this information to support the state’s environmental and economic health.

Q: How can I find out about rare plants in Washington?
A: Download the Field Guide to Washington’s Rare Plants. The guide has plant descriptions, identification tips, ranges, habitat, ecology, inventory needs, and threats, along with photos and illustrations.

Q: Where can I see a copy of a DNR Habitat Conservation Plan?
A: DNR has two habitat conservation plans—the Forest Practices Habitat Conservation Plan guiding the management of private and state forestlands, and the State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan guiding the management of approximately 1.8 million acres of DNR-managed forestland within the range of the northern spotted owl. DNR is developing an Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan for state-owned aquatic lands.

Q: Where do I find information about fishing and hunting regulations?
A: Regulations for fishing and hunting in Washington State are administered by the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Their website is:
 http://wdfw.wa.gov.

Geology & Earth Sciences
Q: What is the Washington state gem?
A: In 1975, the Washington Legislature named petrified wood as the state gem.

Q: What is the Washington state fossil?
A: The Columbian mammoth was adopted as the state’s official fossil by the Washington Legislature in 1998. Read more about fossil collecting in Washington.

Q: Where can I find out about mineral collecting or recreational gold panning in Washington?
A: Read DNR’s introduction to mineral collecting and gold prospecting in Washington.

Q: How do I research a mine’s history?
A: Information about mining on specific sites comes from a number of sources:

  • Get a history of an area’s mining activity from DNR's Geology and Earth Resources Division by e-mailing geology@dnr.wa.gov or calling 360-902-1450.
  • Find out who owns a mine by calling the US Bureau of Land Management at 509-536-1200 or learn how to research mining claims by downloading the booklet Locating Mining Claims.
  • To look up historical state mining stocks, call the Washington Secretary of State’s office at 360-902-4151.

Q: Does DNR have Geographic Information System (GIS) data available online?
A: Yes. You can download information about natural resources and related data free of charge from DNR's GIS Data Center.

Aquatic & Marine Sciences
Q: Where can I see a copy of a DNR Habitat Conservation Plan?
A: DNR has two habitat conservation plans—the Forest Practices Habitat Conservation Plan guiding the management of private and state forestlands, and the State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan guiding the management of approximately 1.8 million acres of DNR-managed forestland within the range of the northern spotted owl. DNR is developing an Aquatic Lands Habitat Conservation Plan for state-owned aquatic lands.

Forestry & Forest Ecology
Q: How do I order seedlings from Webster Forest nursery?
A: Between 3 million and 5 million seedlings can be purchased by small private land owners to help them meet the replanting requirements of the State Forest Practices Act. We sell seedlings of several species and stock types. Seedlings are sold in bundles of 100, starting the first business day in September.

Be sure to check our seedling availability before ordering, as it changes frequently.

Watershed, Wetlands & Riparian Sciences
Q: What is a wetland ecosystem?
A: Water flow, water chemistry, energy, substrate, elevation, and microclimate are among the environmental characteristics that define wetland and aquatic ecosystems. To learn how to identify the types and extent of wetlands in Washington’s forests, download DNR's Wetland Field Guides.

Q: How can I find the locations and other information about the unique wetlands and aquatic areas in Washington?
A: Wetland and aquatic ecosystems that meet certain criteria as being natural and of high quality may be listed in the DNR Natural Heritage Information System.

SEPA
Q: What is SEPA?
A: The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) is a state act. SEPA rules require state and local agencies to consider any potential negative environmental impacts before approving or denying a proposal.

Q: What’s the purpose of SEPA?
A: The act provides a way to identify possible environmental impacts that may result from governmental decisions, such as permits for private projects, constructing public facilities or adopting regulations, policies or plans.

Q: Where can I get more information about SEPA and DNR?
A: Read the FAQ about the SEPA process at DNR. To view specific SEPA actions and related documents from DNR and find more information, go to DNR’s SEPA page.

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 Contacts

For General Information About the Department:
Washington State Department of Natural Resources
360-902-1000
information@dnr.wa.gov

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