The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced the release of the Olympic Experimental State Forest (OESF) Forest Land Plan. This plan will guide how DNR manages more than 270,000 acres of forested state trust lands on the western Olympic Peninsula.
“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of many citizens, local landowners, user groups and others who provided their input, we have a plan to launch a new era of management for this forest,” says Kyle Blum, deputy supervisor of state uplands with DNR. “This roadmap for experimentation, research and monitoring will help DNR find new and better ways of reaching its timber harvest goals and ecological objectives within the same forested landscape.”
The OESF plan will guide foresters in implementing an experimental management approach called “integrated management.” Under this approach, a working forest is managed simultaneously for timber harvests that provide revenue to trust beneficiaries such as schools and hospitals and for ecological values including habitat for northern spotted owls, marbled murrelets and other native wildlife.
In the OESF, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), a state agency, meets objectives for timber harvest (to produce revenue for trust beneficiaries), and wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and other ecological values through an experimental, integrated management approach. Unlike the more common approach of dividing a land base into one area for harvest and another for habitat, DNR manages the entire land base for both.
A center of experimentation for DNR, the OESF is unique from other experimental forests in the United States because it is not purely a research forest. It is a working forest with annual and decadal timber volume targets. Nowhere in the United States is a working forest of this size being managed under an experimental approach with the stated purpose of learning.
View the final adopted plan: www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/lm_oesf_flplan_final.pdf
About the Olympic Experimental State Forest
Located in western Clallam and Jefferson counties on the Olympic Peninsula, the Olympic Experimental State Forest is a member of the U.S. Forest Service’s National Experimental Forest and Range Network. The 80 sites in the nationwide network are living laboratories that help scientists to better understand natural processes and provide useful information to land managers.