by Tami Miketa, Manager, Small Forest Landowner Office
We have some good news regarding our staffing levels here in the Small Forest Landowner Office (SFLO). We are growing! More precisely, we are getting back up to speed with the staffing necessary to serve you.
The SFLO is beginning the recruitment process for a new Specialist position. This person will serve as our technical expert in western Washington. The job’s duties will include providing on-the-ground technical consultative services to help small forest landowners understand the forest practices rules and to share technical advice with landowners including information about:
- Timber harvest systems,
- Small forest landowner alternate plan templates,
- 20-acre exempt harvest activities,
- Long-term applications,
- Low impact harvest activities,
- Road construction techniques, and
- Other support to landowners related to state forest practices rules.
This person also will oversee the development of educational curricula and the numerous outreach activities administered by the Small Forest Landowner Office. We can see that there is a great need for small forest landowners to get help completing their forest practices applications and navigate the application and permit process. I am glad that we will soon have someone on staff who can fulfill these important tasks! We anticipate having a person in this newly created position on team by June.
Other New Hires to Assist You
The SFLO recently hired two Natural Resource Specialist’s: Chris Briggs and Whitney Butler. Chris and Whitney will help the program identify all of the qualifying timber for each FREP application on the program’s waiting list. They will then oversee cruise contracts to determine the value of the qualifying timber for each FREP application. This is an important step for the program, and the landowner, to ensure that the value of the qualifying timber in each FREP application is captured in an expeditious manner. Funds for the program’s easement purchases and staff were included in $3.5 million the State Capital Budget’s $3.5 million appropriation to the Forestry Riparian Easement Program for the FY15-17 biennium.
Finally, the SFLO plans to hire an additional Natural Resource Specialist to help another of our treasured programs — the Family Forest Fish Passage Program (FFFPP) — process FFFPP applications, conduct fish barrier evaluations and, most importantly, conduct extensive outreach to small forest landowners. It is anticipated this new position will join our team by June. Funds for the program’s matching grants and staffing were included in the $5 million appropriated to FFFPP in the State Capital Budget for the FY15-17 biennium.
The SFLO is slowly regaining the staffing levels we had in previous years, and bringing these new positions on board this spring is a great start to what we hope will be a fruitful and productive year for small forest landowners and DNR.