Who Manages the Forests?
Washington State has 22.1 million acres of forestland, more than half of the entire state. Forests are managed for a variety of values, including protection of fish and wildlife habitat, protection of water quality, recreation, aesthetic beauty and lumber products, which provide jobs for rural economies. The different land managers include large and small private forest landowners, the State Department of Natural Resources, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and Forest Service, Native American tribes, local counties, and municipalities.
Private forest landowners own and manage 7.9 million acres, about 36% of all the forestland in the state. The industrial private forest landowner, whose primary purpose is to produce timber products for profit, represents about 4.6 million acres. About 30,000 small family tree farmers own and manage more than 3.2 million acres.
Federal, state, tribal and local governments manage the largest share of forestland in Washington, more than 64% of the total. The U.S. Forest Service is responsible for most of the federal forest, including wilderness areas, wild, scenic and recreation areas, and multiple-use forests, which produce lumber products. There are also more than one million acres of national parks in the state, including Mt. Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic. The State Department of Natural Resources manages nearly 3 million acres of state trust lands, which were granted by the federal government at statehood to provide income for schools and capital buildings. Almost 20 Native American tribes manage nearly 1.7 million acres in the state. Counties and municipalities also manage a small percentage of forestland at about 362,000 acres.
- State, Private, and County Forestland
- Tribal Forestland
- Federal Forestland
Facts & Figures
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is the largest land manager in Washington State.
22.1 million acres
Total forestland in Washington.
7.9 million acres
Private forestland in Washington.
14.2 million acres
Government forestland in Washington.
WA Forestland Ownership
Nearly 36% of the forestland is privately owned (blue) and over 64% is managed by the government (green).