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Working forests work for all of us.

Pacific salmon, and the multiple rivers they inhabit, are northwest icons. Throughout their life, salmon travel hundreds of miles through the entire river system, from the headwaters to the sea. We all share in the responsibility for protecting this mountain-to-sea environment. Through the Forests & Fish Law, Washington’s private forest landowners apply modern science and adaptive management to protect fish habitat and clean water in the streams of our working forests. However, successful salmon recovery takes all parties across the landscape, doing their part to protect our waterways.

Salmon Recovery: A shared responsibility across our landscape

Working Forests

Washington’s working forests are doing their part in salmon recovery by making significant investments to protect forested streams and remove blockages to fish passage.

Federal Lands

Half of our state is forested, and most of this land is managed by the federal government. This includes national parks, designated wilderness areas and U.S. Forest Service lands.

  • Over the last five years, the federal Legacy Roads program has provided $20 million to improve 1,609 miles of roads and fix 37 fish passage barriers.
  • There is more work to be done: The US Forest Service estimates $250-$300 million will be needed for road improvements and fish passages in Washington State alone.
  • There are about 22,000 miles of Forest Service roads, once paid for by forest management activities. These deteriorating roads cause environmental damage. A lack of public funds makes it difficult to properly improve and maintain these roads.

Private working forests are working for all of us.

Environmental protection or a healthy state economy? Washington’s private forest landowners are successfully protecting our natural environment and contributing to the state’s economy at the same time. Environment and economy, jobs and sustainability. Who says we have to choose one over the other?

Private Forestry: An Economic Engine

Every 1,000 acres of working forest supports 11 jobs which pay nearly $500,000 in wages each year. For that same 1,000 acres, another $30,000 in taxes and fees are paid to governments, supporting the local economy.

Guided by Science

Adaptive Management is “learning by doing” – using the best available science to monitor and verify that forest practices are meeting the standards set by the Forest & Fish Law.

Results since 2001: 95 projects are listed in the workplan, 36 are complete, and 17 are ongoing. Five new projects are scheduled to start in the 2013-2014 budget cycle. Learn more »