2012 Winter Storm Damage to Western Washington Forests

The January snow and ice storm event caused damage to many forested ownerships in parts of the Puget Sound, Southwest Washington, and the Columbia River Gorge. Most damaged forests will recover, but in some areas the damage was so extensive (generally in small diameter alder and some conifer stands) that “starting over” with site preparation and reforestation may be the best option. The following sources of information and assistance may help:

Technical Assistance  

If you’re unsure what to do, your DNR Stewardship Forester may be able to provide helpful advice:

Western Washington (all counties): Mike Nystrom, mike.nystrom@dnr.wa.gov; (360) 742-8506.

Columbia River Gorge (Klickitat, western Skamania counties): jesse.calkins@dnr.wa.gov; (541) 980-1104.

Financial Assistance

The Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) may potentially be of assistance with the cost of site preparation and reforestation (as well as a variety of other non-storm related forest improvement projects). Contact the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Office in the county where your property is located to learn more. You can find your county office at http://www.wa.nrcs.usda.gov or under the federal government listings in your telephone book.

 Timber Casualty Loss Deduction

The National Timber Tax Website http://www.timbertax.org has helpful federal income tax information for forest owners, including information on the timber casualty loss deduction.

 Salvage Harvesting

Private consulting foresters are available to help evaluate the extent of losses as well as helping landowners conduct salvage harvesting operations. Go to ext.wsu.edu/forestry and click on the Consulting Foresters Directory link in the bottom center of the page.

 Contact Steve Gibbs at 360.902.1706 for more information.