Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: Amend WAC 222-30-021 to change timber harvest and leave tree requirements in riparian management zones adjacent to Type S and F Waters and to respond to the scientific study completed by the forest practices board's cooperative monitoring, evaluation, and research committee.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 222-30-021.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 76.09.040.
Other Authority: RCW 76.09.370.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 09-13-022 on June 5, 2009.
A final cost-benefit analysis is available by contacting Gretchen Robinson, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 47012, Olympia, WA 98504-7012, phone (360) 902-1705, fax (360) 902-1428, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: August 12, 2009.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 08-24-011, filed 11/21/08, effective 12/22/08)
WAC 222-30-021 *Western Washington riparian management zones. These rules apply to all typed waters on forest land in Western Washington, except as provided in WAC 222-30-023. RMZs are measured horizontally from the outer edge of the bankfull width or channel migration zone, whichever is greater, and extend to the limits as described in this section. See ((
the)) board manual section 7 for riparian
design and layout guidelines.
*(1) Western Washington RMZs for Type S and F Waters have three zones: The core zone is nearest to the water, the inner zone is the middle zone, and the outer zone is furthest from the water. (See definitions in WAC 222-16-010.) RMZ dimensions vary depending on the site class of the land, the management harvest option, and the bankfull width of the stream. See tables for management options 1 and 2 below.
None of the limitations on harvest in each of the three zones listed below will preclude or limit the construction and maintenance of roads for the purpose of crossing streams in WAC 222-24-030 and 222-24-050, or the creation and use of yarding corridors in WAC 222-30-060(1).
The shade requirements in WAC 222-30-040 must be met
regardless of harvest opportunities provided in the inner zone
RMZ rules. See ((
the)) board manual section 1.
(a) Core zones. No timber harvest or construction is allowed in the core zone except operations related to forest roads as detailed in subsection (1) of this section. Any trees cut for or damaged by yarding corridors in the core zone must be left on the site. Any trees cut as a result of road construction to cross a stream may be removed from the site, unless used as part of a large woody debris placement strategy or as needed to reach stand requirements.
(b) Inner zones. Forest practices in the inner zone must be conducted in such a way as to meet or exceed stand requirements to achieve the goal in WAC 222-30-010(2). The width of the inner zone is determined by site class, bankfull width, and management option. Timber harvest in this zone must be consistent with the stand requirements in order to reach the desired future condition targets.
"Stand requirement" means a number of trees per acre, the
basal area and the proportion of conifer in the combined inner
zone and adjacent core zone so that the growth of the trees
would meet desired future conditions. The following table
defines basal area targets when the stand is ((
hundred forty years old.
|Site Class||Desired future condition target basal area per acre (at 140 years)|
(i) Hardwood conversion in the inner zone. When the existing stands in the combined core and inner zone do not meet stand requirements, no harvest is permitted in the inner zone, except in connection with hardwood conversion.
(A) The landowner may elect to convert hardwood-dominated stands in the inner zone to conifer-dominated stands. Harvesting and replanting shall be in accordance with the following limits:
(I) Conversion activities in the inner zone of any harvest unit are only allowed where all of the following are present:
• Existing stands in the combined core and inner zone do not meet stand requirements (WAC 222-30-021 (1)(b));
• There are fewer than ((
57)) fifty-seven conifer trees
per acre (( 8)) eight inches or larger dbh in the conversion
• There are fewer than ((
100)) one hundred conifer trees
per acre larger than (( 4)) four inches dbh in the conversion
• There is evidence (such as conifer stumps, historical photos, or a conifer understory) that the conversion area can be successfully reforested with conifer and support the development of conifer stands;
• The landowner owns ((
500)) five hundred feet upstream
and (( 500)) five hundred feet downstream of the harvest unit;
• The core and inner zones contain no stream adjacent parallel roads;
• Riparian areas contiguous to the proposed harvest unit
are owned by the landowner proposing to conduct the conversion
activities, and meet shade requirements of WAC 222-30-040 or
have a ((
75-)) seventy-five foot buffer with trees at least
(( 40)) forty feet tall on both sides of the stream for (( 500))
five hundred feet upstream and (( 500)) five hundred feet
downstream of the proposed harvest unit (or the length of the
stream, if less);
• If the landowner has previously converted hardwood-dominated stands, then post-harvest treatments must have been performed to the satisfaction of the department.
(II) In addition to the conditions set forth above, permitted conversion activities in the inner zone of any harvest unit are limited by the following:
• Each continuous conversion area is not more than
500)) five hundred feet in length; two conversion areas will
be considered "continuous" unless the no-harvest area
separating the two conversion areas is at least half the
length of the larger of the two conversion areas.
• Type S and F (Type 1, 2, or 3) Water: Up to ((
fifty percent of the inner zone area of the harvest unit on
one side of the stream may be converted provided that:
♦ The landowner owns the opposite side of the stream and
the landowner's riparian area on the opposite bank meets the
shade requirements of WAC 222-30-040 or has a ((
seventy-five foot buffer of trees at least (( 40)) forty feet
♦ The landowner does not own land on the opposite side of
the stream but the riparian area on the opposite bank meets
the shade requirements of WAC 222-30-040 or has a ((
seventy-five foot buffer of trees at least (( 40)) forty feet
• Not more than ((
25%)) twenty-five percent of the inner
zone of the harvest unit on both sides of a Type S or F Water
may be converted if the landowner owns both sides.
(III) Where conversion is allowed in the inner zone, trees within the conversion area may be harvested except that:
• Conifer trees larger than ((
20)) twenty inches dbh
shall not be harvested;
• Not more than ((
10%)) ten percent of the conifer stems
greater than (( 8)) eight inches dbh, exclusive of the conifer
noted above, within the conversion area may be harvested; and
• The landowner must exercise reasonable care in the
conduct of harvest activities to minimize damage to all
residual conifer trees within the conversion area including
conifer trees less than ((
8)) eight inches dbh.
(IV) Following harvest in conversion areas, the landowner must:
• Reforest the conversion area with conifer tree species suitable to the site in accordance with the requirements of WAC 222-34-010; and
• Conduct post-harvest treatment of the site until the
conifer trees necessary to meet acceptable stocking levels in
WAC 222-34-010(2) have crowns above the brush or until the
conversion area contains a minimum of ((
150)) one hundred
fifty conifer trees greater than (( 8)) eight inches dbh per
• Notify the department in writing within three years of the approval of the forest practices application for hardwood conversion, if the hardwood conversion has been completed.
(V) Tracking hardwood conversion. The purpose of tracking hardwood conversion is to determine if hardwood conversion is resulting in adequate enhancement of riparian functions toward the desired future condition while minimizing the short term impacts on functions. The department will use existing or updated data bases developed in cooperation with the Washington Hardwoods Commission to identify watershed administrative units (WAUs) with a high percentage of hardwood-dominated riparian areas and, thus have the potential for excessive hardwood conversion under these rules. The department will track the rate of conversion of hardwoods in the riparian zone: (1) Through the application process on an annual basis; and (2) at a WAU scale on a biennial basis as per WAC 222-30-120 through the adaptive management process which will develop thresholds of impact for hardwood conversion at the watershed scale.
(ii) Harvest options.
(A) No inner zone management. When the existing stands in the combined core and inner zone do not meet stand requirements, no harvest is permitted in the inner zone. When no harvest is permitted in the inner zone or the landowner chooses not to enter the inner zone, the width of core, inner and outer zones are as provided in the following table:
No inner zone management RMZ widths for Western Washington
|Site Class||RMZ width||Core zone
||Inner zone width
||Outer zone width
|stream width >10'||stream width ≤10'||stream width >10'|
(I) Option 1. Thinning from below. The objective of thinning is to distribute stand requirement trees in such a way as to shorten the time required to meet large wood, fish habitat and water quality needs. This is achieved by increasing the potential for leave trees to grow larger than they otherwise would without thinning. Thinning harvest under option 1 must comply with the following:
• Residual trees left in the combined core and inner zones must meet stand requirements necessary to be on a trajectory to desired future condition. See board manual section 7 for guidelines.
• Thinning must be from below, meaning the smallest dbh trees are selected for harvest first, then progressing to successively larger diameters.
• Thinning cannot decrease the proportion of conifer in the stand.
• Shade retention to meet the shade rule must be
confirmed by the landowner for any harvest inside of ((
seventy-five feet from the outer edge of bankfull width or
outer edge of CMZ, whichever is greater.
• The number of residual conifer trees per acre in the
inner zone will equal or exceed ((
Option 1. Thinning from below.
|Inner zone width
||Outer zone width
• Harvest is not permitted within ((
30)) thirty feet of
the core zone for streams less than or equal to (( 10)) ten
feet wide and harvest is not permitted within (( 50)) fifty
feet of the core zone for streams greater than (( 10)) ten feet
• Residual leave trees in the combined core and inner zone must meet stand requirements necessary to be on a trajectory to desired future condition. See board manual section 7 for calculating stand requirements;
• A minimum of ((
20)) twenty conifers per acre, with a
minimum (( 12-)) twelve inch dbh, will be retained in any
portion of the inner zone where even-age harvest occurs. These riparian leave trees will (( not)) be counted (( or
considered)) towards meeting applicable stand requirements
(( nor can)). The number of riparian leave trees cannot be
reduced below (( 20)) twenty for any reason.
• Trees are selected for harvest starting from the outer most portion of the inner zone first then progressively closer to the stream.
• If (II) of this subsection results in surplus basal
area per the stand requirement, the landowner may take credit
for the surplus by harvesting additional riparian leave trees
required to be left in the adjacent outer zone on a basal
area-for-basal area basis. The number of leave trees in the
outer zone can be reduced only to a minimum of ((
trees per acre.
Option 2. Leaving trees closest to water.
|Site class||RMZ width||Core zone
||Inner zone width||Outer zone width
|minimum floor distance||minimum floor distance|
|(measured from outer edge of core zone)||(measured from outer edge of core zone)||(measured from outer edge of core zone)||(measured from outer edge of core zone)|
(iii) Where the basal area components of the stand requirement cannot be met within the sum of the areas in the inner and core zone due to the presence of a stream-adjacent parallel road in the inner or core zone, a determination must be made of the approximate basal area that would have been present in the inner and core zones if the road was not occupying space in the core or inner zone and the shortfall in the basal area component of the stand requirement. See definition of "stream-adjacent parallel road" in WAC 222-16-010.
(A) Trees containing basal area equal to the amount determined in (iii) of this subsection will be left elsewhere in the inner or outer zone, or if the zones contain insufficient riparian leave trees, substitute riparian leave trees will be left within the RMZ width of other Type S or F Waters in the same unit or along Type Np or Ns Waters in the same unit in addition to all other RMZ requirements on those same Type S, F, Np or Ns Waters.
(B) When the stream-adjacent road basal area calculated
in (iii) of this subsection results in an excess in basal area
(above stand requirement) then the landowner may receive
credit for such excess which can be applied on a basal
area-by-basal area basis against the landowner's obligation to
leave trees in the outer zone of the RMZ of such stream or
other waters within the same unit, provided that the number of
trees per acre in the outer zone is not reduced to less than
10)) ten trees per acre.
(C) When the basal area requirement cannot be met, as explained in (iii) of this subsection, the shortfall may be reduced through the implementation of an acceptable large woody debris placement plan. See board manual section 26 for guidelines.
(iv) If a harvest operation includes both yarding and harvest activities within the RMZ, all calculations of basal area for stand requirements will be determined as if the yarding corridors were constructed prior to any other harvest activities. If trees cut or damaged by yarding are taken from excess basal area, these trees may be removed from the inner zone. Trees cut or damaged by yarding in a unit which does not meet the basal area target of the stand requirements cannot be removed from the inner zone. Any trees cut or damaged by yarding in the core zone may not be removed.
(c) Outer zones. Timber harvest in the outer zone must
20)) twenty riparian leave trees per acre after
harvest. "Outer zone riparian leave trees" are trees that
must be left after harvest in the outer zone in Western
Washington. Riparian leave trees must be left uncut
throughout all future harvests:
Outer zone riparian leave tree requirements
|Application||Leave tree spacing||Tree species||Minimum dbh required|
|Outer zone||Dispersed||Conifer||12" dbh or greater|
|Outer zone||Clumped||Conifer||12" dbh or greater|
|Protection of sensitive features||Clumped||Trees representative of the overstory including both hardwood and conifer||8" dbh or greater|
(i) Dispersal strategy. Riparian leave trees, which
means conifer species with a diameter measured at breast
height (dbh) of ((
12)) twelve inches or greater, must be left
dispersed approximately evenly throughout the outer zone. If
riparian leave trees of (( 12")) twelve inches dbh or greater
are not available, then the next largest conifers must be
left. If conifers are not present, riparian leave trees must
be left according to the clumping strategy in subsection (ii)
(ii) Clumping strategy. Riparian leave trees must be left clumped in the following way:
(A) Clump trees in or around one or more of the following
sensitive features to the extent available within the outer
zone. When clumping around sensitive features, riparian leave
trees must be ((
8)) eight inches dbh or greater and
representative of the overstory canopy trees in or around the
sensitive feature and may include both hardwood and conifer
species. Sensitive features are:
(I) Seeps and springs;
(II) Forested wetlands;
(III) Topographic locations (and orientation) from which leave trees currently on the site will be delivered to the water;
(IV) Areas where riparian leave trees may provide windthrow protection;
(V) Small unstable, or potentially unstable, slopes not of sufficient area to be detected by other site evaluations. See WAC 222-16-050 (1)(d).
(VI) Archaeological or historical sites registered with the Washington state department of archaeology and historic preservation. See WAC 222-16-050 (1)(g); or
(VII) Sites containing evidence of Native American cairns, graves or glyptic records. See WAC 222-16-050 (1)(f).
(B) If sensitive features are not present, then clumps
must be well distributed throughout the outer zone and the
leave trees must be of conifer species with a dbh of ((
twelve inches or greater. When placing clumps, the applicant
will consider operational and biological concerns. Tree
counts must be satisfied regardless of the presence of
stream-adjacent parallel roads in the outer zone.
(iii) Large woody debris in-channel placement strategy.
A landowner may design a LWD placement plan in cooperation
with the department of fish and wildlife. The plan must be
consistent with guidelines in ((
the)) board manual section 26.
The landowner may reduce the number of trees required to be
left in the outer zone to the extent provided in the approved
LWD placement plan. Reduction of trees in the outer zone must
not go below a minimum of (( 10)) ten trees per acre. If this
strategy is chosen, a complete forest practices application
must include a copy of the WDFW approved hydraulics project
approval (HPA) permit.
(iv) Twenty riparian leave trees must be left after harvest with the exception of the following:
(A) If a landowner agrees to implement a placement strategy, see (iii) of this subsection.
(B) If trees are left in an associated channel migration zone, the landowner may reduce the number of trees required to be left according to the following:
(I) Offsets will be measured on a basal area-for-basal area basis.
(II) Conifer in a CMZ equal to or greater than ((
inches dbh will offset conifer in the outer zone at a
(III) Hardwood in a CMZ equal to or greater than ((
ten inches dbh will offset hardwood in the outer zone at a
(IV) Hardwood in a CMZ equal to or greater than ((
ten inches dbh will offset conifer in the outer zone at a
*(2) Western Washington protection for Type Np and Ns Waters.
(a) An equipment limitation zone is a ((
30-)) thirty foot
wide zone measured horizontally from the outer edge of the
bankfull width of a Type Np or Ns Water where equipment use
and other forest practices that are specifically limited by
these rules. It applies to all perennial and seasonal
(i) On-site mitigation is required if any of the
following activities exposes the soil on more than ((
percent of the surface area of the zone:
(A) Ground based equipment;
(B) Skid trails;
(C) Stream crossings (other than existing roads); or
(D) Cabled logs that are partially suspended.
(ii) Mitigation must be designed to replace the equivalent of lost functions especially prevention of sediment delivery. Examples include water bars, grass seeding, mulching, etc.
(iii) Nothing in this subsection (2) reduces or eliminates the department's authority to prevent actual or potential material damage to public resources under WAC 222-46-030 or 222-46-040 or any related authority to condition forest practices notifications or applications.
(b) Sensitive site and RMZs protection along Type Np Waters. Forest practices must be conducted to protect Type Np RMZs and sensitive sites as detailed below:
(i) A ((
50-)) fifty foot, no-harvest buffer, measured
horizontally from the outer edge of bankfull width, will be
established along each side of the Type Np Water as follows:
Required no-harvest, 50-foot buffers on Type Np Waters.
|Length of Type Np Water from the confluence of Type S or F Water||Length of 50' buffer required on Type Np Water (starting at the confluence of the Type Np and connecting water)|
|Greater than 1000'||500'|
|Greater than 300' but less than 1000'||Distance of the greater of 300' or 50% of the entire length of the Type Np Water|
|Less than or equal to 300'||The entire length of Type Np Water|
(iii) No timber harvest is permitted in an area within
50)) fifty feet of the outer perimeter of a soil zone
perennially saturated from a side-slope seep.
(iv) No timber harvest is permitted within a ((
fifty-six foot radius buffer patch centered on the point of
intersection of two or more Type Np Waters.
(v) No timber harvest is permitted within a ((
fifty-six foot radius buffer patch centered on a headwater
spring or, in the absence of a headwater spring, on a point at
the upper most extent of a Type Np Water as defined in WAC 222-16-030(3) and 222-16-031.
(vi) No timber harvest is permitted within an alluvial fan.
(vii) At least ((
50%)) fifty percent of a Type Np Waters'
length must be protected by buffers on both sides of the
stream (2-sided buffers). Buffered segments must be a minimum
of (( 100)) one hundred feet in length. If an operating area
is located more than (( 500)) five hundred feet upstream from
the confluence of a Type S or F Water and the Type Np Water is
more than (( 1,000)) one thousand feet in length, then buffer
the Type Np Water according to the following table. If the
percentage is not met by protecting sensitive sites listed in
(b)(i) through (vii) of this subsection, then additional
buffers are required on the Type Np Water to meet the
requirements listed in the table.
Minimum percent of length of Type Np Waters to be
buffered when more than 500 feet upstream from the
confluence of a Type S or F Water
|Total length of a Type Np Water upstream from the confluence of a Type S or F Water||Percent of length of Type Np Water that must be protected with a 50 foot no harvest buffer more than 500 feet upstream from the confluence of a Type S or F Water|
|1000 feet or less||Refer to table in this subsection (i) above|
|1001 - 1300 feet||19%|
|1301 - 1600 feet||27%|
|1601 - 2000 feet||33%|
|2001 - 2500 feet||38%|
|2501 - 3500 feet||42%|
|3501 - 5000 feet||44%|
|Greater than 5000 feet||45%|
(A) Low gradient areas;
(B) Perennial water reaches of nonsedimentary rock with
gradients greater than ((
20%)) twenty percent in the tailed
frog habitat range;
(C) Hyporheic and ground water influence zones; and
(D) Areas downstream from other buffered areas.
Except for the construction and maintenance of road crossings and the creation and use of yarding corridors, no timber harvest will be allowed in the designated priority areas. Landowners must leave additional acres equal to the number of acres (including partial acres) occupied by an existing stream-adjacent parallel road within a designated priority area buffer.
(c) None of the limitations on harvest in or around Type Np Water RMZs or sensitive sites listed in (b) of this subsection will preclude or limit:
(i) The construction and maintenance of roads for the purpose of crossing streams in WAC 222-24-030 and 222-24-050.
(ii) The creation and use of yarding corridors in WAC 222-30-060(1).
To the extent reasonably practical, the operation will both avoid creating yarding corridors or road crossings through Type Np Water RMZ or sensitive sites and associated buffers, and avoid management activities which would result in soil compaction, the loss of protective vegetation or sedimentation in perennially moist areas.
Where yarding corridors or road crossings through Type Np Water RMZs or sensitive sites and their buffers cannot reasonably be avoided, the buffer area must be expanded to protect the sensitive site by an area equivalent to the disturbed area or by providing comparable functions through other management initiated efforts.
Landowners must leave additional acres equal to the number of acres (including partial acres) occupied by an existing stream-adjacent parallel road within a Type Np Water RMZs or sensitive site buffer.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 76.09.040. 08-24-011, § 222-30-021, filed 11/21/08, effective 12/22/08; 05-12-119, § 222-30-021, filed 5/31/05, effective 7/1/05. Statutory Authority: Chapter 34.05 RCW, RCW 76.09.040, [76.09.]050, [76.09.]370, 76.13.120(9). 01-12-042, § 222-30-021, filed 5/30/01, effective 7/1/01.]