At the October 28th Chehalis Basin Partnership meeting, guest speakers shared news about opportunities for small forest landowners in the Chehalis Basin.

Elaine Oneil from the Washington Farm Forestry Association shared the importance of small forestry: small forest landowners own half the private land in the state. In the upper Chehalis Basin, 21% of the forest land is owned by small forest landowners. There is a close association between small forest lands and river systems. Thus, small forest landowners are at the front line in protecting water quality and fish habitat.

Julie Sackett from the Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife and Dave Houk from Grays Harbor Conservation District presented information about a new grant which will provide assistance to small forest landowners and result in a Landscape Scale Forest Stewardship Master Plan for Small Forest Landowners in the Chehalis Basin.

The initiative goals are to: 1) conserve working forest landscapes, 2) protect forests from harm, and 3) enhance public benefits from trees and forests (e.g., for wildlife and water quality), all by helping landowners actively manage their forests. It will meet these goals by creating an overarching forest plan that will help guide individual Forest Stewardship Plans.

Dave and Julie are looking for input from Chehalis Basin Partnership members on potential resources available in the basin to help reach initiative goals including improving forest health, water quality, wildlife habitat, and conserving working forest lands.

For more information:


(Feature photo by Paul Dunn)