State Trust Lands HCP
What is the Trust Lands HCP - An Overview
Washington’s Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is an ecosystem-based forest management plan that was developed by DNR to provide habitat for species such as the Northern Spotted Owl, Marbled Murrelet, and riparian-dependant species such as salmon and bull trout .
These species are at some level of risk of extinction — listed as ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’ under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The HCP applies to Washington’s forested State Trust lands within the range of the Northern Spotted Owl.
The State Trust lands are managed by DNR to provide revenue to build the state’s public schools and universities, and other state institutions. Some State Trust lands help fund local services in the county in which the trust lands are located. Revenue-producing activities include timber harvesting and leasing trust lands for communication towers, wind energy production, and more.
The HCP helps DNR develop and protect habitat for at-risk species, while carrying out forest management and other revenue producing activities. The Trust Lands HCP is designed as a ‘multi-species’ plan, because in protecting the habitats needed by listed species, we also provide habitat for other species that depend on the same habitats— species that also may be declining in numbers.
What does the Trust Lands HCP Protect?
The core of the Trust Lands HCP is its four detailed conservation strategies, for Marbled Murrelets; Northern Spotted Owls; Riparian Areas, Wetlands and Salmon; and Other Species of Concern and Uncommon Habitats. Through these conservation strategies, we provide protection for:
- Habitat for northern spotted owls, marbled murrelets, and riparian-dependant species such as salmon
- Habitat for other animal and plant species that are federally listed as ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’
- Habitat for state-listed ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’ species
- Habitat for unlisted plant or animal species that might be declining in numbers or that could be listed at some future time.
- ‘Uncommon habitats’ and habitat elements (talus fields, caves, cliffs, oak woodlands, large snags, balds, mineral springs, and large, structurally
unique trees), that support various species that depend on them.
- Old-growth forests in the five Westside HCP planning units.
- Unstable slopes