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U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) protects and manages National Forests and Grasslands. They also provide technical and financial assistance to State and private forest owners. Their goals are to encourage good stewardship and land management on forest and grasslands, to help states and communities to wisely use forests to promote rural economic development and a quality rural environment, and to provide training and education.

USFS partners with the Washington Department of Natural Resources to administer the following programs in Washington State.


Forest Legacy Program (FLP)

The Forest Legacy Program is a federal grant program to protect forestlands from conversion to non-forest uses. In Washington State, the program is guided by the US Forest Service and carried out through the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Through the program, federal grants pay for conservation easements and other means that prevent development. The Forest Legacy Program provides for both traditional forest uses and the protection of water, cultural resources, fish and wildlife.  

Forest Land Enhancement Program (FLEP)

The Forest Land Enhancement Program was established by the 2002 Farm Bill. It provides education, on-site advice, and cost-share assistance to help non-industrial private forest landowners develop Forest Stewardship Plans and implement a variety of forest stewardship practices on their lands.

The cost-share part of the program replaces the former Stewardship Incentive Program (SIP) and Forestry Incentives Program (FIP) that have now been eliminated by Congress. FLEP is separate from, but complementary to, the Forest Stewardship Program. In Washington, the program is administered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Eligible practices include: developing a forest stewardship plan afforestation and reforestation, forest stand improvement, water quality/riparian/wetland/watershed improvement, fish and wildlife habitat improvement, forest health improvement. 

Forest Stewardship Program

The Forest Stewardship Program is a nationwide program designed to assist non-industrial private forest landowners in managing their properties for a variety of resource values.

The program offers advice and assistance to landowners with over 5 acres to help improve forests for timber production, forest health, wildlife and fish habitat, special forest products, water quality, aesthetics, and fire safety. Advice is customized to meet the landowner’s personal objectives.

The program is funded by the USDA Forest Service and delivered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources in close cooperation with several other state and federal agencies and private organizations.

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