WSR 99-17-089



[ Filed August 17, 1999, 10:52 a.m. ]

Forest Practices Board

Rule Development Agenda

July-December 1999

Numerous sections of Title 222 WAC, Forest Practices Board, are in the rule-making process or being developed. The board's mandate is to adopt rules to protect the state's natural resources while maintaining a viable forest products industry.

1. Forestry Module

The board initiated the rule-making process with an initial draft of the forestry module proposed rules on October 12, 1998. The notice was published on November 4, 1999, (WSR 98-21-015); text was published on December 2, 1998. A continuance of this filing was published in WSR 99-09-078, and the text was published on June 2, 1999. The proposed rules incorporate new public resource protection requirements in the following categories: Riparian protection for fish-bearing and nonfish-bearing streams; water typing; wetlands; Class IV-Special; SEPA guidance; application procedures; roads; slope stability; forest chemicals; enforcement; monitoring; adaptive management; and watershed analysis.

The board received five comprehensive proposals for permanent forestry module rules, conducted scoping for an EIS, and has identified three alternatives for environmental review. DNR has contracted the preparation of the Draft EIS and anticipates publication in early 2000.

New draft permanent rules are being prepared that would implement the Forests and Fish Report (April 29, 1999) and ESHB 2091 (effective August 19, 1999). In December 1999, the board plans to conduct the thirty day review required by the Forest Practices Act. A supplemental notice, along with the second phase of the small business economic impact statement, may be filed in February 2000. Public hearings are scheduled for April 2000. All of these dates are subject to change.

In the interim, the board has continued an emergency stream typing rule:

WAC 222-16-030. Water Typing Systems. The emergency rule modifies the definitions of Type 2 and 3 waters so that appropriate riparian protection is provided along fish-bearing streams.
WAC 222-12-090(13). Implementation guidelines in the Forest Practices Board Manual.
The board has also readopted an emergency rule to protect threatened and endangered salmonids listed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The rule provides protection to the listed species by setting SEPA triggers that would classify certain forest practices within the listed areas as Class IV-Special. The rule includes a "salmonid listed areas" map; SEPA guidance; road maintenance and abandonment plan requirements; and stream temperature provisions for some nonfish-bearing streams in listed areas.

ESHB 2091 passed by the 1999 legislature declares salmon recovery efforts an emergency and provides additional power to the Forest Practices Board to adopt emergency rules to protect aquatic resources based on the Forests and Fish Report. These emergency rules must be published in the Washington State Register and a public hearing with opportunity for oral and written comment must be held. These new emergency rules would remain in effect until permanent forestry module rules are adopted or until June 30, 2001.

The board's current schedule for adopting new emergency rules includes public review during October 1999, a public hearing and adoption in November 1999. The rules would have a delayed effective date of January 1, 2000, in order to allow time for training of DNR staff and stakeholders.

2. Rule-Making Petitions

A. Forest practices on saltwater islands. The board anticipates including some of the issues raised by SaltWater Islanders for Timbered lands (SWIFT) in the proposed permanent forestry module rules. The board's islands committee has not yet established a timeline for dealing with the other issues.

B. Use of chemical sprays near organic farms. This issue may be considered in the chemicals section of the proposed forestry module rules.

C. Vulnerable forest soils. The department will report to the board on this issue at the February 9, 2000 regular meeting.

3. Small Landowner Pilot Rule Making

In 1997, the board had anticipated pilot rule making to address issues of concern to small forest landowners. Later, the board's small landowner committee deferred to the forestry module negotiations to make recommendations. New legislation (ESHB 2091) establishes a small forest landowner office and advisory committee, and includes an exemption from the new rules for owners of less than twenty acres.

4. Other

The board plans to include some editorial and procedural rules with the supplemental notice for proposed forestry module rules. These include corrections, SEPA guidance, clarifying some watershed analysis rules, clarifying timelines associated with civil penalty appeals, and reviewing forest practices relationship with other laws.

Contact Person: Judith Holter, FPB Rules Coordinator, Department of Natural Resources, Forest Practices Division, P.O. Box 47012, Olympia, WA 98504-7012, phone (360) 902-1412, fax (360) 902-1789, e-mail