WSU Forest Stewardship Class: Healthy Trees, Lower Taxes

EVERETT, Wash. — Starting in September, Washington State University Extension and the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks will offer their flagship Forest Stewardship Coached Planning series. During the course, woodland owners attending will be able to develop a personal Forest Stewardship Plan.

The nine-week short-course will run Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, from Sept. 21 through Nov. 16, at the Preston Community Center, 8625 310th Ave. S.E., Issaquah.

Many forested properties are at high risk for fire, disease, insects, and other problems due to overcrowding, invasive weeds, and other factors. Maintaining a healthy forest is key to watershed protection, wildlife habitat, aesthetic beauty, and minimizing risks.

This class will teach landowners what to look for, how to avoid common problems, and practical steps to keep their forest on track to provide habitat, enjoyment, and even income for years to come. Participants will learn about how to assess and maintain tree health, enhance wildlife habitat, improve aesthetics, cultivate edible and other specialty forest products, as well as how to manage their timber resources.

Forest Stewardship
Forest owners Ken and Elizabeth Zylstra of Stanwood show off their recognition as a Stewardship Forest, which makes them eligible for tax breaks.

The Forest Stewardship Plan developed during the class can help landowners save money. With an approved stewardship plan comes state recognition as a Stewardship Forest, eligibility for cost-share assistance programs, and qualification to become certified as a sustainable forest. An approved stewardship plan may also qualify owners who meet minimum acreage requirements for significant property tax reductions.

The short-course includes nine evening sessions, a Saturday field day, a comprehensive Forest Stewardship Notebook and other reference materials, property maps, aerial photos, and an individual on-site consultation from a professional forester or wildlife biologist.

The registration fee before Sept. 1 is $150 per family or ownership, and includes all course materials. Registration after Sept. 1 increases to $175. Class size is limited and first-come, first served.

Registration information is available at or by contacting Kevin Zobrist, WSU Extension Forester, at 425-357-6017.

This class is made possible by a funding grant from the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum and the King Conservation District.