Better Ground

Programs & Services Available for Forest Landowners

If you’re a forest landowner in Washington State, there are many programs and resources to help you maintain a healthy forest on your property. Check out the information below to get started.

Forest Planning Assistance

Interested in learning how to manage your forest for long-term health, wildlife habitat, timber, or aesthetics? Your local conservation district forester can provide tailored guidance for land management and help you make the most of the natural beauty of your forest.

Forest planning staff are also available at the Washington State University Extension Forestry program and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Small Forest Landowner Office.

Education, Classes & Consultant Directories

Your local conservation district forester can help connect you with all of the resources available to you as a small forest landowner. If you need additional information, the Washington State University Extension Forestry program offers a wide variety of research-based forest stewardship classes, publications, videos, and other resources at forestry.wsu.edu. They also host the following directories:

Financial Assistance for Forest Practices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides eligible landowners with financial assistance and one-on-one help to plan and implement conservation practices that improve the health and productivity of their forests.

Beneficial Tax Programs for Eligible Forest Land

There are two primary incentive programs in Washington State that provide landowners with a property tax reduction for conserving forest land on their property. The Public Benefit Rating System is for landowners who want to protect or restore open space resources on their property, while the Designated Forest Land Program focuses on the sustainable management of commercial timber stands. To learn more, visit the Washington Department of Revenue or read a tax guide on the Open Space Taxation Act which establishes these programs. Please contact your district’s forester for your county’s tax information. 

Conservation Easement Opportunities

Interested in preserving your forest for future generations? A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect it based upon your conservation values.

Whether a landowner sells or donates the development rights on their property, conservation easements enable them to be fairly compensated for their land’s development potential. Learn more about conservation easements at the Washington Association of Land Trust’s website.

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