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Document Code No.: PUT 8-19-2 (PR)
Department/Issuing Agency: Department of Natural Resources and Parks
Effective Date: March 13, 2015
Approved: /s/ Christie True
Type of Action: Supersedes PUT 8-19-1 (PR), July 1, 2005

Signed document (PDF, 1MB)


1.0 SUBJECT TITLE:  FOREST STEWARDSHIP PLANS

1.1 EFFECTIVE DATE: March 13, 2015

1.2 TYPE OF ACTION: Supersedes PUT 8-19-1  (PR), July 1, 2005

1.3 KEY WORDS: Forestry, Forest Stewardship Plans, Forest Management Plan, Timber Management Plan

2.0 PURPOSE: 

2.1 This rule establishes and explains the format and requirements for developing a Forest Stewardship Plan as required by King County.  Such plan does not serve as an application for a permit or as a site plan for a specific forest practice. Landowners are required to obtain appropriate state or county permits for applicable forest practices.

3.0 INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

3.1 Applicants to the Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS) and Designated Forestland Current Use Taxation (CUT) programs.

3.2 Applicants for the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program to qualify as a forest sending site.

3.3 Applicants for any new residential building permit in the Forest Production District.

3.4 Owners of property in long-term forestry who conduct a forest practice and want to avoid the development moratorium on a portion of the site.

3.5 Owners of property in long-term forestry who want flexibility to cut firewood, restore habitat areas, and/or remove invasive weeds in critical area buffers.

3.6 Developers of a subdivision with a resource land tract to be managed as forest. 

3.7 King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP), Water and Land Resources Division (WLRD), Forestry program.

3.8 King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Water and Land Resources Division, Public Benefit Rating Systems program.

3.9 King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Water and Land Resources Division, Transfer of Development Rights program.

3.10 King County Department of Assessments, Designated Forestland program.

3.11 King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER)

3.12 Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA-DNR)

4.0 REFERENCES:

R.C.W.  84.34 – Open Space, Agricultural Timberlands – Current Use – Conservation Futures
W.A.C. 458.30 – Open Space Taxation Rules
K.C.C. 2.98 – Rules of County Agencies
K.C.C. 20.36 – Open Space and Agricultural Current Use Assessment
K.C.C. 21A.06 – Technical Terms and Land Use Definitions
K.C.C. 21A.08 – Permitted Uses
K.C.C. 21A.14 – Development Standards – Design Requirements
K.C.C. 21A.24 – Critical Areas
K.C.C. 21A.37 – Transfer of Development Rights 
K.C.C. 9.04 – Surface Water Management
K.C.C. 16.82 – Clearing and Grading
King County Rural Stewardship Plan Public Rule PUT 8-20 (PR)
King County Farm Management Plan Public Rule PUT 8-21 (PR)
King County Comprehensive Plan Policies R-623, R-624, R-625, R-632, R-636
Washington State Integrated Forest Management Plan Guidelines, February 14, 2012
Executive Order, "Implementation of Forestry Policies," Document Code No. PUT 8-18 (AEO)
The King County Code and the Executive Order can be accessed on the King County website. Washington State Codes can be found on the Washington Legislature’s website.

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

5.1 A Forest Stewardship Plan is a plan that meets the requirements of Section 6 of this rule. The requirements are based on the Washington State Integrated Forest Management Plan Guidelines dated February 14, 2012, or thereafter amended. These guidelines have been cooperatively developed and adopted by the Washington Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Washington Tree Farm Program, and the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR).  The February 14, 2012 version of these guidelines is attached to this rule as Appendix A.

5.2 A Forest Stewardship Component of a Farm Management Plan or a Rural Stewardship Plan is considered a Forest Stewardship Plan if it meets the requirements of this rule. 

5.3 Forest Management Plan - For the purposes of this rule, a forest management plan means the same thing as a forest stewardship plan.

5.4 Timber Management Plan - For the purposes of this rule, a timber management plan means the same thing as a forest stewardship plan.

5.5 The terms “Forest Stewardship Plan,” “Forest Management Plan,” and “Timber Management Plan” shall all be referred to as “Plan” in this rule.

5.6 Incentive Program – Refers to the King County Current Use Taxation programs and the King County Transfer of Development Rights program.

6.0 POLICIES:

6.1 This rule is written to identify the requirements for Plans required in King County Code 21A.37, King County Code 21A.08, King County Code 20.36, King County Code 21A.14, King County Code 21A.24, King County Code 9.04, and King County Code 16.82.

6.2 The Plan must meet the standards of the Washington State Integrated Forest Management Plan Guidelines, February 14, 2012, or thereafter amended. In addition to the map standards in the Washington State Integrated Forest Management Plan Guidelines, maps shall:

6.2.1 Indicate forest stands, easements, critical areas, and existing or planned non-forest features, such as residences, garages, outbuildings, driveways, power lines, drainage fields, wells, gardens, and yards. If possible, previous and future forest practice units and existing or proposed road and landing locations should be indicated.

6.2.2 Be at a scale large enough to be easily legible.

6.2.3 Include a topographic map with a contour interval no greater than 20 feet if slopes exceeding 40 percent are present.

6.2.4 Include the following elements: scale, north arrow, name of preparer, date of preparation, and a legend.

6.2.5 Maps are available from King County’s iMap website.

6.3 Plans prepared for the DNRP Transfer of Development Rights Program “shall include a description of the site’s forest resources and the long term forest management objectives of the property owner” (K.C.C. 21A.37.060).

6.4 Plans are not required to qualify as a forest TDR sending site if the property will be acquired and held in fee ownership by a public agency for conservation purposes.  These properties will be managed in accordance with the agency’s forest management policies, rules, and regulations.

6.5 Plans prepared for the Department of Assessment’s Designated Forestland Program must clearly state that the Applicant will use the enrolled land primarily for growing and harvesting timber for commercial purposes (R.C.W 84.34.020 and K.C.C. 20.36.110).

6.6 Plans prepared for Resource Tracts must:

6.6.1 Assure that forestry will remain as a sustainable long term use of the tract (K.C.C. 21A.14.040).
 
6.6.2 Specify impervious surface and clearing limitations and identify the type of buildings or structures that will be allowed within the resource tract (K.C.C. 21A.14.040).

6.6.3 If critical areas are included in the resource tract, the Plan must clearly state that the purpose of the resource portion is for resource management, and the purpose of the designated critical areas is for critical area protection and enhancement as well as protecting the public from geologic hazards and increased storm water runoff (K.C.C. 21A.24.180).

6.6.4 The Plan will provide specific measures to be implemented to protect critical areas. Examples include: erosion control measures, slope thresholds for ground based yarding, whether permanent or temporary roads will be used, and size and orientation of group selection and clear cuts on steep slopes. These protection measures will meet or exceed WA-DNR Forest Practice Rules. The Plan will describe how future development will not limit access to Resource Tracts to implement forest management activities.

6.7 DPER may approve a development proposal on a portion of a property if an approved Plan includes a map that clearly delineates and differentiates the area to be developed from the forest management area. In addition to the map, the Plan must clearly describe the forest management activity and the area to be developed (K.C.C. 16.82.140).

6.8 Upon permit intake DPER will refer applicants for residential building permits in the forest production district to a DNRP forester.  The forester will evaluate the site characteristics and ownership objectives on a site specific, case-by-case basis to determine if they are compatible with the purpose of the forest production district. The DNRP forester will determine and recommend to DPER if a forest stewardship plan as defined in this Rule is required. If not, the forester will recommend to DPER that an abbreviated plan be written.  If DPER agrees, DNRP foresters will assist the applicant in preparing the abbreviated plan to include at a minimum the following:

6.8.1 Description of how the applicant will ensure that their use of the property does not compromise the intent of the FPD.

6.8.2 Section that describes native vegetation present and promotes its’ retention in residential and forested areas.

6.8.3 Description of noxious and invasive weeds present and eradication or control methods in residential and forested areas.

6.8.4 Section that describes recommended fire safety best management practices to be implemented by the applicant. 

6.8.5 A recent aerial/ortho photograph indicating property boundary, proposed or existing residential area, and sufficient other information required by DNRP forester.

7.0 PROCEDURES: The procedures followed by each Applicant depend on their objectives. Not all procedures will apply to every Applicant.

7.1 Decision to develop Forest Stewardship Plan.

7.1.1 DPER, DNRP Current Use Taxation Program, the DNRP Transfer of Development Rights Program, or the Applicant determines that a new or revised Plan may be required or desired by the Applicant.

7.1.2 The Applicant contacts a DNRP Forester for information about developing a Plan.

7.1.3 The DNRP Forester provides this Rule to the Applicant.

7.1.4 The DNRP Forester will inform the Applicant of the types of technical assistance they can provide the Applicant in developing a Plan.

7.1.5 The DNRP Current Use Taxation staff will explain to the Applicant that an approved Plan is required in order to qualify for the Forest Stewardship Land Category of the PBRS program. 

7.1.6 The DOA Current Use Taxation staff will explain to the Applicant that the Assessor is authorized to require an approved Plan to enroll in or continue Designation as Forest Land under RCW 84.33

7.1.7 The DNRP Transfer of Development Rights staff will advise the Applicant that an approved Plan is required to qualify their property as a forestry sending site for the TDR Program.

7.1.8 The Applicant notifies DNRP of intent to develop a Plan.

7.2 Plan preparation.

7.2.1 Applicant writes a draft Plan or has a draft Plan prepared and submits this draft Plan to the DNRP Forester.

7.2.2 The landowner may prepare the Plan independently with assistance from a DNRP Forester; or with assistance through the Forest Stewardship course offered by King County, Washington State University Extension, and Washington Department of Natural Resources; or with the assistance of a forestry consultant or other qualified organization.

7.2.3 The plan will cover the portion of the property that is or will be managed as forest and will clearly delineate any developed or other portion of the property that will not be managed as forest.

7.3 Plan review.

7.3.1 The DNRP Forester reviews the draft Plan.

7.3.2 The DNRP Forester conducts a site visit to verify that the Plan adequately describes the resources of the site.

7.3.3 The DNRP Forester consults with incentive program or DPER staff if necessary to ensure that proposed activities are consistent with incentive program or permit requirements.

7.3.4 The DNRP Forester submits comments and suggested edits, if applicable, to the Applicant to comply with this Rule.

7.3.5 The Applicant modifies the draft Plan if warranted and re-submits to DNRP.

7.4 Plan approval.

7.4.1 The DNRP Forester reviews and determines if the Plan addresses the requirements identified in this rule.

7.4.2 The DNRP Forester approves or rejects the Plan. If not approving, the Forester submits additional comments to the Applicant to modify the Plan.

7.4.3 The DNRP Forester returns the final Plan when approved to the Applicant with a signed approval form, retaining a copy for files.

7.5 Submittal of Plan to specific incentive program or permitting department.

7.5.1 If pursuing a King County permit or participation in a King County incentive program, the Applicant submits an approved Plan to the appropriate incentive program or department with an application for the permit or program.  The Applicant also provides supplemental information to meet the requirements of the permit or program.

7.6 Review of Plan by permitting or incentive program.

7.6.1 When the plan is required by an incentive program or permit, the appropriate agency reviews the plan for conformance with the requirements of the program or permit.

7.7 Revision of Plans.

7.7.1 These plans are not intended to be static. They should be reviewed and consulted regularly, at a minimum, every ten years following initial approval. Sooner if the landowner’s objectives significantly change. The Applicant submits these revisions to the DNRP Forester.

7.7.2 If an existing approved Plan has a management schedule or management goals that are out of date or otherwise require change, the Applicant is responsible for revising the plan. When properties with existing Plans change owners, the Plan should be revised to reflect the new owner’s objectives. 

7.7.3 The DNRP Forester reviews any Plan revisions and approves or denies revisions.     

8.0 Responsibilities:

8.1 The Applicant is responsible for:

8.1.1 Deciding to develop a new or revised Plan.

8.1.2 Developing a new or revised Plan in accordance with this public rule.

8.1.3 Contacting a DNRP Forester for technical assistance in preparing a Plan.

8.1.4 Preparing a Plan that complies with the requirements of DNRP incentive programs or DPER permitting requirements.

8.1.5 Submitting the completed Plan to DNRP.

8.2 The DNRP Forester is responsible for:

8.2.1 Providing technical assistance in development and revision of Plans.

8.2.2 Responding to information requests.

8.2.3 Conducting site visit as part of the Plan review process.

8.2.4 Coordinating with DNRP incentive programs, DOA Current Use Taxation, and DPER to ensure the Plan meets the requirements of the program or permit.

8.2.5 Reviewing new or revised Plans for compliance with this rule.

8.2.6 Providing any necessary edits and suggestions to Applicant so the Plan complies with this Rule.

8.2.7 Approving or denying Plans.

8.3 The DNRP Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS) Program is responsible as follows:

8.3.1 Notifying an Applicant when an approved Plan is required as part of an application to the PBRS program.

8.3.2 Reviewing the approved Plan for compliance with program requirements; and if not compliant provide detailed explanation in writing to applicant and DNRP Forester.

8.4 The King County Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program is responsible as follows:

8.4.1 Notifying an Applicant that an approved Plan is required to qualify a property as a TDR forestry sending site.

8.4.2 Reviewing the approved Plan for compliance with program requirements; and if not compliant provide detailed explanation in writing to the Applicant and DNRP Forester.

8.5 The King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review is responsible as follows:

8.5.1 Notifying Applicants that an approved Plan is a permit requirement for single detached dwellings in the forest zone.

8.5.2 Notifying Applicants that an approved Plan is required in conjunction with a request for relief from the development moratorium that would otherwise be imposed on a property with a WA Forest Practices Rule Class II, III or IV-S forest practice. The Plan must include a map that clearly delineates any future development areas that are not to be managed forest.

8.5.3 Notifying Applicants that an approved Plan is required for a resource land tract or critical area tract as part of a clustered development if the tracts are to be managed forest.

8.5.4 Coordinating with the DNRP Forester throughout the development of Plans to ensure they meet permit requirements.

8.5.5 Reviewing the approved Plan for compliance with permit requirements and if not compliant providing detailed explanation in writing to Applicant and DNRP Forester.

9.0 APPENDICES:

9.1 Washington State Integrated Forest Management Plan Guidelines, February 14, 2012