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What is a forest stewardship plan?

A Forest Stewardship Plan (also known as a Forest Management Plan) helps individual landowners manage their forest to reach individual ownership objectives while protecting and/or enhancing forest resources.

Developing a Stewardship Plan helps clarify short- and long-term property objectives. The process includes analyzing current forest conditions, determining what resource protection or enhancement measures would be beneficial, and developing an organized sequence of activities to accomplish these objectives.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has guidelines for preparing a forest stewardship plan. If you need a King County Forester to approve your plan, it must follow the Washington State guidelines for preparing a Forest Management Plan or Forest Stewardship Plan. For free examples or other assistance, contact a staff forester.

A plan is required in King County to:

  • Apply for the Timberlands or Forest Stewardship Land category of the Public Benefit Rating System current use taxation programs.
  • Apply for a building permit within the Forest Production District.
  • Apply for a Transfer of Development Rights or Forest Legacy.
  • Receive recognition as a "Stewardship Forest" (property sign and certificate).
  • Achieve management flexibility under the Critical Areas Ordinance.

How do I get a forest stewardship plan for my property?

  • Participate in Forest Stewardship Classes with instruction and personalized coaching from natural resource professionals. In King County, these classes are offered in cooperation with the Washington State University Extension.
  • Hire a natural resource consultant to prepare a plan for you.
  • Write a plan independently; consider using the technical assistance available from King County foresters to learn what to include and how to evaluate forest resources.

Criteria for plan approval by King County:

  • Landowner signature.
  • Must address protection and/or enhancement of forest resource categories.
  • Must cover a time frame of at least 10 years, longer planning range is encouraged.
  • Must cover the entire forested ownership and/or any land that will be planted to forest vegetation.
  • Recommended management activities should be consistent with stated landowner objectives.
  • Follows the Washington State Integrated Forest Management Plan Guidelines.

See King County Public Rules: Forest Stewardship Plan, PUT 8-19-2.

For questions about forest stewardship plans or this web page, please contact Wendy Sammarco or other King County Forestry Program staff.