State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan
OLYMPIC EXPERIMENTAL STATE FOREST
Welcome to the Olympic Experimental State Forest (OESF)—270,000 acres of state trust lands on the western Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.
State trust lands statewide are managed to provide funding to build the state’s public schools, universities and other institutions. However, the OESF is unique among the state’s trust forests in management and purpose. It was designated for experimentation with innovative silviculture in order to learn how to better integrate commodity production and habitat conservation. Habitat conservation strategies are based on an experimental concept of an "unzoned" forest, that is, a forest without areas deferred from timber management.
Research, Monitoring, and Adaptive Management, i.e. a formal process of improving land management practices in response to new information, are key commitments in the OESF.
Read more about OESF History
This temperate rain forest ecosystem provides habitat for some of the healthiest salmon populations in the state and for the federally listed northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet.
Read more about the OESF environment
OESF is a participating forest in the Forest Service Experimental Forest and Range Network
Read more about the agreement and OESF Review Board meetings
Research and Monitoring Opportunities
DNR encourages, facilitates, and in some cases, conducts research and monitoring that addresses a broad range of topics related to forest management and conservation. We welcome all ideas and will make every effort to accommodate research projects if they are compatible with forest operations. The OESF advantages as a research site include:
- An actively managed forest allows field experimentation
- Large land base can accommodate landscape-level studies
- Adjacent Federal lands provide opportunities for experimental controls
- Well maintained road system provides easy field access
- Extensive, regularly updated, and non-proprietary datasets are available for spatial analyses
- Existing research and monitoring program provides framework and priority management questions
- An example of temperate rain forest ecosystem with extreme rainfall and tree growth rates
Past and current research and Monitoring
The OESF is a place for applied research into innovative silviculture techniques, wildlife habitat development, and riparian restoration. New knowledge of the relationship between forest management and ecosystem functions, help DNR and other land managers to continuously improve forest management based on sound science.
Read more about research and monitoring in the OESF.
Planning and management
DNR manages the OESF to provide reliable revenue, mainly from timber harvest, that supports public schools, universities, and other trusts’ beneficiaries including Clallam and Jefferson Counties. DNR’s conservation efforts in the OESF, guided by a multispecies HCP, focus on riparian habitat maintenance and restoration. DNR currently is conducting forest land planning for the OESF.
Read more about OESF management and planning.