FINAL BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
C 457 L 19
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Analyzing state regulatory impact on small forestland owners.
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks (originally sponsored by Senators Braun, Van De Wege, Takko, Short, Becker, Rivers, Wagoner and Warnick).
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks
House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources
House Committee on Appropriations
Background: The Forest and Fish Report was issued in 1999 and contained recommendations for developing and implementing rules and programs designed to improve and protect riparian habitat on non-federal forestlands in Washington. The rules proposed in the report were designed to provide compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act, restore and maintain minimum riparian habitat to support a harvestable supply of fish, meet Clean Water Act standards, and keep the timber industry economically viable.
The Legislature adopted the Forests and Fish Law in response to the Forest and Fish Report. The law directed the Forest Practices Board to adopt emergency rules implementing the recommendations of the Forest and Fish Report. Among other things, the Forests and Fish Law created the Small Forest Landowner's Office (SFLO) in the Department of Natural Resources, the Forestry Riparian Easement Program, and directed developing alternate management plans or harvest restrictions.
Summary: The University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences must complete a trends analysis that examines whether the number of small forestland owners has increased or decreased, whether the acreage held by small forestland owners has increased or decreased, and if certain forestlands previously held by small forestland owners have been converted to other uses. The University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences must also determine which factors contributed to small forestland owners selling their land and recommend actions the Legislature can take to keep forestland working. In addition, the analysis must review the effectiveness of the SFLO, the Forestry Riparian Easement Program, and the use of alternate harvest management plans. The University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences must report its findings to the appropriate committees of the Legislature by November 1, 2020. The report must include recommendations to improve mitigation measures for small forestland owners and improve retention of working forestland held by small forestland owners.
Votes on Final Passage:
July 28, 2019