Forestry is a long-term business, taking as much as 40 to 60 years to complete a harvest and replanting, or forest management cycle. Planning is an essential part of maintaining a sustainable forestry operation, and sustaining the business. It is important to consider and plan for all aspects of forest management activities and environmental considerations during this long-term cycle. Private forest landowners started managing forests before Washington became a state in 1889. Stewardship, planning and investment are keys to this longevity. While each landowner tailors their planning process to their own set of needs and circumstances, listed below are some of the more common steps landowners take during the forest management cycle.


The average rate of harvest for all the state’s commercial forestland is 1.1% which means for every acre harvested, there are nearly 99 acres of new forest growing.

Forest Management Cycle

A continuous series of activities to ensure that working forests balances the economics we need with the social and environmental values we desire.