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King County's Forestry Program focuses on the retention of forestland for its environmental, social, and economic benefits. The Program provides education, technical assistance, and economic incentives aimed at retaining the forest resources of King County.

King County’s 1996 Farm and Forests Report laid the foundation for the Forestry Program, citing the reduction of forested land by one third, between 1972 and 1996 and calling for steps to conserve forests. Forests offer important recreational opportunities, improve air quality and provide food, water and cover for endangered salmon and wildlife. These same forests provide employment in wood, paper, recreation, tourism and fishing industries.

A growing population has created tremendous demand for new housing and urban services in King County. In response, large tracts of industrial forest have been subdivided, sold and converted to residential land uses, breaking up the forested landscape into a patchwork of individual family holdings. Once the forest is fragmented into home sites, many of the environmental benefits, as well as the ability to manage the land for forest production, are lost. Ultimately, we seek to enhance and protect the continuity of the County's forested areas, which extend from large commercial stands in the Cascade foothills, through the suburban forested/residential mix, to remnant forests and green spaces in densely populated communities.

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