Forest Watershed Services Transaction
Click Here for Survey
Home > Science & Environment > Topics > Forest Research > Forest Watershed Services Transaction
Forest Watershed Services Transaction 
 

   

Forest Watershed ServiceS Transaction
Financial incentives to maintain working forests in Washington

In the face of inevitable growth in the region, Washington State forestland owners have experienced increased pressure to convert working forests and conservation forests to development and other non-forest uses.  In response, Commissioner Peter Goldmark and the state Department of Natural Resources are exploring strategies to help forest landowners access more diversified sources of revenue to support maintaining their lands in forestry, and thereby protecting forest watershed ecosystem services such as clean water, flood protection, stream shade, and biodiversity.

The Watershed Services Transaction Demonstration Project was launched by DNR, in partnership with the University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences' Northwest Environmental Forum in June 2011.  The multi-stakeholder Forum focused on forest watershed services, and included project partners from the two participating pilot watersheds, Snohomish Watershed and Nisqually Watershed.

Update 8/27/13: The project came to completion in June 2013. DNR submitted a final report to the Washington State Department of Ecology, the main funding source of the project.  

>> View the Final Project Report

Both Snohomish County and City of Olympia will continue to evaluate watershed services transactions with one or more private forest landowners on a pilot basis.

Two watershed endeavors
DNR and stakeholders in the two watersheds will take advantage of the opportunities presented by as-yet untapped potential for the development of ecosystem services markets and transactions involving forest landowners as the “sellers”, and the “buyers” of forest watershed ecosystem services such as utilities that provide drinking water, flood management agencies, and tribes that want specific salmon habitat protections. The project’s working assumption is that the investment by the buyers in watershed ecosystem services may compare favorably with traditional investment in constructed water facilities.  Implementation of the pilot project will result in public and transparent transaction evidence regarding what services are provided, the forest landowners who provide them, and prices paid. Key lessons we hope to learn from this project include:

  • Specific land management practices that produce measurable water and habitat benefits on site and downstream
  • The economic value of the benefits and the cost to provide them
  • The nature of effective contractual agreements among market participants
  • The monitoring program that will be necessary
  • Opportunities for broader application in Washington State

Related Information

 

 

 

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Files Filter

to specify items for consumption by a Data View. To change the list that this refers to, check the Miscellaneous group in the sidebar tool for the ListURL value and change the URL to point to a different list.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Contacts Filter

to specify items for consumption by a Data View. To change the list that this refers to, check the Miscellaneous group in the sidebar tool for the ListURL value and change the URL to point to a different list.

 Contacts

Andrew Hayes
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Management
360-902-1347
Andrew.Hayes@dnr.wa.gov

 Files

 Related Links