The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is now considering nominations for lands to be included in the state Community Forest Trust.
Working forests in Washington are a vital part of our economy, and according to the DNR, since the 1980s, more than 17 percent of Western Washington forests have been converted to other land uses. As working forests vanish, so do many benefits for communities, including local timber, natural resources jobs, clean air and water, and recreation.
In 2011, DNR worked with the state legislature to create a new tool for local community partners to participate in protecting working forestlands that benefit their communities—the Community Forest Trust.
The first state community forest was established in 2013 in the Teanaway River Valley, just north of Cle Elum. This new category of working forestland is held by the state and sustainably managed by DNR.
Local communities interested in having lands included in the Community Forest Trust need to file the request for nominations form by June 2.
Included in the application is a checklist of materials needed to submit a nomination and a desired timeline for the process.