WSR 00-03-087A



[ Filed January 19, 2000, 11:21 a.m. ]

Forest Practices Board

Rule Development Agenda

January-June 2000

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 public resources while maintaining a viable forest products industry.

1. New Forest Practices Rules: Initial Draft of Permanent Rules: 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 [1998] (WSR 98-21-015); text was published on December 2, 1998. This filing was continued in WSR 99-09-078 in [and] WSR 99-22-032. 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 the EIS, and has identified three alternatives for environmental review. The Department of Natural Resources has contracted the preparation of the draft EIS and anticipates publication in March 2000.

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

Water Type and Salmonid Emergency Rules: 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. The map is [in] the rule has been updated each time new listings have occurred.

New Emergency Rules: 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 were published in the Washington State Register on October 20, 1999, and a public hearing with opportunity for oral and written comment was held on November 9, 1999. The board anticipates adopting new emergency rules on January 20, 2000. These new emergency rules would remain in effect until new permanent rules are adopted or until June 30, 2001, whichever is sooner. The new emergency rules would have a delayed effective date of March 20, 2000, in order to allow time for training of DNR staff and stakeholders.

ESHB 2091 established the forest riparian easement program and directs the board to adopt rules for this program. These may be proposed and added to the new emergency rules during the first half of 2000.

2. Rule-making Petitions:

A. Forest practices on saltwater islands. The board issued a partial denial of this petition on November 4, 1999. 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. The board denied this petition on November 4, 1999, based on a recommendation from the Department of Agriculture.

C. Vulnerable forest soils. The board will receive a recommendation from the Department of Natural Resources at the February 2000 meeting.

D. Recreation and scenic issues. The board has established a committee to address this petition. A fact-finding meeting is scheduled for February 2000 with a report to be given at the following board meeting.

3. Other: The board plans to propose editorial, procedural and minor rule changes. These may be a separate proposal or may be included within a supplemental notice for the permanent rule proposal in 1 above. 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, Forest Practices Board, 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

Washington State Code Reviser's Office