Boyd Norton, NW Washington Landowner Assistance Forester
In 2001, the Forest Practices Board required all forest landowners to document the location and condition of all forest roads on their property. Landowners were also required to submit a “Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plan” (RMAP) that specified how and when landowners would correct deficiencies associated with the Forest Practice Rules for water quality and fish passage. Submitted plans were also required to address monitoring and maintenance of road condition.
In 2003, the legislature recognized that the RMAP requirements could be causing unforeseen, unintended and disproportionate financial hardship for small forest landowners. To minimize these impacts, a simplified process was implemented that:
- Eliminated the requirement for small forest landowners to submit written road maintenance and abandonment plans, along with the reporting requirement for progress on road upgrades.
- Allowed small forest landowners the option to correct fish barriers on their own or enroll in the state funded barrier removal program (Family Forest Fish Passage Program).
- Exempted landowners who own a total of 80 acres or less of forest land in Washington from submitting a checklist RMAP for individual parcels of 20 acres or less.
So how do you know if your roads meet the small forest landowner requirements?
- Participate in the Small Forest Landowner Forest Road Assessment project — The Forest Stewardship program has a landowner assistance forester with time dedicated to assisting landowners in reviewing road systems and documenting the accomplishments small forest landowners statewide.
- Read the Road Maintenance and Abandonment Requirements for Small Forest Landowners brochure.
- Complete a Small Forest Landowner RMAP Checklist. Even if you are not harvesting timber, the information will give you a good starting point for ensuring your roads are protecting public resources.
- Review the Routine Maintenance Practices & Storm Maintenance Strategy for Forest Roads Under RMAP Obligation.
- Follow the best management practices Guidelines for Forest Roads in Section 3 of the Forest Practices Board Manual.
For assistance or to participate in the statewide RMAP assessment, please contact Boyd Norton at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-854-2839 (office), 360-742-6825 (cell).