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Agreement will assist small forest landowners in developing more sustainable forests

The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Northwest Natural Resource Group are announcing an innovative public-private partnership for collaboration and innovation in outreach to small forest landowners.

Small forest landowners own one quarter of all forests in Washington State, and development pressure continues to encroach upon natural resource lands, making them harder to maintain. The need for innovative tools and assistance that keep these lands viable has never been greater. Landowners and rural communities need new economic opportunities, and forests across the state need improved health and resilience to maintain clean water, resist catastrophic forest fires, and adapt to climate change.

This partnership commits the Resource Group and DNR to work together to:

-- Pursue funding to better serve these landowners and the valuable natural resources that they own and steward.

-- Develop new markets and incentives for small forest landowners, such as water quality payments and markets for certified wood.

--Add, for the first time, Forest Stewardship Council certification to the toolbox for DNR’s work with small landowners.

DNR Commissioner Peter Goldmark and Northwest Natural Resource Group Executive Director Dan Stonington will sign a memorandum of understanding detailing this partnership on Tuesday, September 18, at an event celebrating Northwest Natural Resource Group’s 20th anniversary.

“I am proud to recognize the successes of Northwest Natural Resource Group in promoting specialty forest markets and high conservation standards through FSC certification,” said Commissioner of Public Land Peter Goldmark. “This agreement will help leverage scarce resources and provide great new services to landowners.”

“Having successfully served small forest landowners for over ten years through a variety of educational and certification outreach programs, we are extremely pleased and honored that the DNR has chosen to work with us to amplify the impact of our efforts to create and enhance sustainable working forestland across the Northwest,” said Dan Stonington, Northwest Natural Resource Group executive director.

Landowners are encouraged to contact DNR’s Small Forest Landowner Office Director Tami Miketa (360-902-1415) or Northwest Natural Resource Group Executive Director Dan Stonington (206-971-3709) for further information about this partnership and associated programs.

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