The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released its 2020 Forest Action Plan this week, outlining more than 100 priority actions to improve and conserve forests across Washington, including goals that support fish and wildlife, rural economies, wildfire response, outdoor recreation, family forestry, urban trees, and clean air and water.
The plan is said to weave new goals with those already outlined in other strategies, including DNR’s forest health, wildfire and climate change strategic plans, as well as the state’s salmon recovery, invasive species and wildlife plans.
Also unveiled in the 2020 Forest Action Plan is a western Washington prioritization map showing 16 priority areas with the greatest opportunities for forest investments.
The priority landscapes, spanning nearly 2 million acres, are where state and federal resources will be deployed first to increase forest resilience.
These areas include both Grays Harbor and Pacific County.
Grays Harbor is listed with Moderate High and High categories of priority, with Pacific County also featuring Moderate High areas.
Forests in central and eastern Washington have their own high-priority areas identified through the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan, which DNR released in 2017.
In the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress charged each state with developing a forest action plan by 2010 and updating it every decade. State Forest Action Plans offer a practical and comprehensive vision for investing federal, state, local and private resources where they can be most effective in achieving three conservation goals:
Submitting an action plan revision to the Forest Service qualifies states to receive federal funding to help make their action plans a reality. Over the past decade, DNR received more than $50 million for such forestry programs, funding work in urban forestry, technical assistance for family forestland owners, conservation of working forests at risk of development, and community wildfire preparedness.
Priority actions outlined in Washington’s 2020 Forest Action Plan include:
Successful implementation of Washington’s 2020 Forest Action Plan will require collaboration with many partners and stakeholders, as well as adequate resources. Under this plan, DNR will build and strengthen partnerships to help leverage the necessary time and resources to accomplish these goals and share lessons learned over time.
Read the Washington 2020 Forest Action Plan at www.dnr.wa.gov/ForestActionPlan.
A video about the action plan is available here.