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What is a forest stewardship plan?

A Forest Stewardship Plan (also known as a Forest Management Plan) is a management plan that helps you reach your individual ownership objectives and integrates the protection and/or enhancement of multiple forest resources.

Developing a Stewardship Plan will help you clarify your short and long term objectives for your property. Through the process you analyze current conditions of your forest resources, determine what resource protection or enhancement measures would be beneficial and develop an organized sequence of activities to accomplish your objectives. Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has developed guidelines for preparing a forest stewardship plan. If you need a King County Forester to approve your plan, it must follow the DNR guidelines.

When is a plan required in King County?

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

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

  • You can participate in Forest Stewardship Class with instruction and personalized coaching from natural resource professionals. In King County these classes are offered in cooperation with Washington State University Extension and King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.
  • You can hire a natural resource consultant to prepare a plan for you.
  • You can write your own plan. Technical assistance is available from King County foresters to help you know what to include and how to evaluate your resources.

Criteria to be met for plan approval

  • Must be signed by the landowner
  • Must address protection and/or enhancement of the 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 (Acrobat PDF).

King County Records and Elections policy website provides details of Forest Stewardship Plan description, required elements, and format.

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