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Forest Stewardship

Do you own forested property in Whatcom County? Whether it’s 1 acre or 1,000 acres, the Whatcom Conservation District wants to help you keep it forested and in good health. We can assist you with identifying and prioritizing issues on your property based on your goals and objectives, whether it’s increasing habitat for wildlife, growing timber for wood products, sequestering carbon, maintaining a property for recreation, or conserving a peaceful family refuge.

The stewardship forester will visit your property with you to discuss concerns, answer questions, and offer technical advice. Our services are non-regulatory, confidential, and FREE.



Whatcom Conservation District Forest Stewardship program wants to empower you to be a good steward of your forest. We can help with:


We provide guidance, resources, and best-management practices specific to a property. We can also assist you in finding the answers to a wide variety of forestry questions you may have, including:

  • The health of your forest acreage

  • How to best manage your timber for current or future harvests

  • Vegetation management for forest & bluff slope stabilization

  • Wildlife management in your forest

  • Managing wildfire risk in your forest



As a landowner, a forest management plan (sometimes referred to as a forest stewardship plan) helps you to make the most of conservation benefits, including timber, wildlife habitat, recreation, aesthetic value, and many others, by providing a working guide for you to use well into the future. A good Forest Management Plan is a site-specific document that describes an owner’s goals and objectives, catalogues the current conditions of the property (including species composition, soils, wildlife, water, and cultural resources), identifies threats or issues of concern and provides recommended actions to achieve long-term forest management goals.


Cost-share programs can help alleviate the financial burden of implementing best-management practices that can ensure the long-term health of a forest. A management plan conforming to the Washington State Integrated Forest Management Plan Guidelines and Template is usually required to access financial assistance and tax incentive programs through the county, state, and federal government.


Additional Resources

Whatcom County
  • Whatcom County Planning and Development Services administers the Open Space Current Use Program (including Farm and Agricultural Conservation Land). This program lowers the tax burden for properties that benefit the greater public. Applications are evaluated according to the Public Benefit Rating System; the greater the public benefit in keeping the property as open space, the greater the tax reduction

  • Whatcom County Tax Assessor’s office administers the Designated Forest Land tax reduction program. This program is for properties of 5 acres or more (not including a homesite) dedicated to growing and harvesting timber


Washington State University

WA Department of Natural Resources


USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Trees for Resilience Toolkit


A Toolkit to Grow Tree Canopy and Forests for Puget Sound Communities


Trees for Resilience is a compendium of local and national research, case studies, and resources specially curated to help regional decision-makers, planners, and managers integrate urban forests and tree canopy into the fabric of the community for greater livability and resilience. Explore the site to gather resources, models and ideas of how your community can enhance and grow the impact of your urban forests, sustain projects and programs, and improve health and resilience for all.

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