Olympic Experimental State Forest— Forest Land Planning
State trust lands on the northwest portion of the Olympic Peninsula are in the Olympic Experimental State Forest (OESF), which includes 270,000 acres. The vision for the OESF is as a commercial forest in which ecological health is maintained through innovative integration of forest production activities and conservation—with an added focus on experimentation, research and monitoring.
OESF Overview webpage
The Forest Land Planning process is intended to implement existing DNR policy direction and legal commitments, including those in the 1997 Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The plan guides management activities within the 11 landscapes of the OESF to address the challenge of integrating habitat conservation and revenue production. Specifically, the forest land plan will provide the guidance for DNR land managers to:
- Generate a sustainable flow of revenue through the sale of timber. The current (2004-2014) sustainable harvest level for the OESF is 576 million board feet per decade, as approved by the Board of Natural Resources in 2007. By harvesting timber, DNR provides revenue to its trust beneficiaries to meet its fiduciary obligations (DNR 2006).
- Implement the riparian conservation strategy for the OESF. The goal of the riparian conservation strategy is to restore and maintain functioning riparian habitat (DNR 1997) to support salmonids and other wildlife species that are dependent on in-stream and riparian environments.
- Implement the northern spotted owl conservation strategy for the OESF. The goal of this strategy is to restore and maintain northern spotted owl habitat in each of the 11 landscapes in the OESF to provide support for the recovery of the Olympic Peninsula sub-population of northern spotted owls on adjacent federal lands (DNR 1997).
- Implement the OESF research and monitoring program and adaptive management process for the OESF (DNR 1997). Adaptive management is envisioned as a structured process of continuously improving management in response to reliable information gathered through research and monitoring.
Riparian and northern spotted owl conservation strategies are defined in the 1997 Habitat Conservation Plan. As part of this forest land planning process, DNR is proposing to modify these strategies for the OESF and update the associated field procedures.
HCP planning units (9.28MB PDF)
OESF HCP planning Unit Map (287KB PDF)
OESF Forest Land Plan Factsheet (480KB PDF)
Management principles at work: A virtual tour of the forest Coming Soon
- Thinning provides options for timber harvest and habitat development
- How we analyze riparian forest function
- Old forest structure versus old growth
- Integration of habitat conservation and timber production
Public involvement and environmental review
During the planning process, DNR has gathered information from the public, scientific community and others about issues and interests related to the OESF. Public meetings have been held throughout, including focus group meetings with tribes, local community members, recreation groups, environmental and timber industry organizations, and local public officials. This information has helped DNR determine what environmental issues need to be analyzed as part of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. A draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) was completed in 2010. After receiving extensive public feedback on the 2010 Draft EIS, DNR decided to expand its environmental analysis of the OESF Forest Land Plan and release a Revised Draft EIS.
Below, you will find the documents developed for this process, from most current to older. You also can find these documents on the SEPA website here.
Current planning documents
Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (to replace the 2010 DRAFT EIS) Coming Soon
Draft OESF Forest Land Plan Coming Soon
2009 Scoping Notice (143KB PDF)
2009 Summary of Scoping (476KB PDF)
Past planning documents
2010 Draft OESF Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS)
Summary of comments and responses for the 2010 Draft OESF EIS Coming soon
Background on DNR-managed State Lands
State Lands (state trust lands) across Washington are managed to earn revenue for specific beneficiaries—mostly the state’s public schools and universities, and county services in Westside counties. Most were granted to Washington at statehood in 1889. DNR manages the 2.9 million acres of state-owned forests, range, agricultural lands, and commercial properties. Of these, 2.1 million acres are forests, such as the Olympic Experimental State Forest, managed sustainably to generate a continuous flow of non-tax revenue to the beneficiaries.
DNR’s management of trust lands sustains habitat for native plant and animal species, protects important sources of clean water, and offers public recreation and educational opportunities statewide.