First Permit Fee Increase Since 1993 Prevents Program Cuts

Legislature Increases Forest Practices Permit Fees

OLYMPIA – On July 10, 2012, several changes in the state Forest Practices Act went into effect. The 2012 Legislature set increased fees for the Forest Practices Program to prevent cuts in service to the public. Additionally, in a continued effort to streamline state agencies, changes to the processing of Forest Practices permits will take place immediately and continue over the next couple of years.

The first of these will be a change in permit length. Approved Forest Practices Applications or Notifications (permits) will be effective for a three year rather than a two year period, giving landowners more options when selling their forest products in the marketplace. Applicants who choose to renew an existing permit will be limited to one renewal for an additional three years- anticipated to reduce the number of permits and renewals by 20 percent, resulting in streamlining the process for applicants and DNR. Fees will go into a dedicated account to pay for the Forest Practices Program.

Forest Practices fees have not changed since they were put in place in 1993. Currently the fees are the same for large and small forest landowners. The fees will rise from $50 to$100 or $150 for the small forest landowner, and from $50 to $150 for the large forest landowner. The exception is for harvest permits that involve conversion of the forest to development or other uses, which will increase from $500 to $1,500 for any forest landowner.

Application fees are no longer refundable. However, if a disapproved application is corrected and resubmitted within 45 days, the original fee will apply.

The changes are part of Second Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6406.

New Application Forms, And Help From Forest Practices Staff

New Forest Practices forms are available on the website, and the forms will be required as of Sept. 1, 2012. DNR Forest Practices region staff are available to answer applicants’ questions. DNR also encourages applicants to ask region staff to review their FPA/N before submitting it.

DNR and Forest Practices

DNR supports the state Forest Practices Board to protect public resources–such as water, fish and wildlife, slope stability, and more–on 12 million acres of private and state-owned forestlands. DNR also provides consultation grant assistance to forest landowners through a number of programs, including the Forest Stewardship Program.