The Timber, Fish, and Wildlife Program reviews Forest Practice Applications (FPAs) to determine if timber extraction activities are compliant with Forest Practice Rules.
The first set of Forest Practice Rules were signed in 1974, but stakeholders had strong disagreements regarding rule effectiveness. The Timber Fish and Wildlife Agreement (TFW, 1987) was enacted where Best Available Science would be used to, in the words of Billy Frank, Jr., “lead wherever the truth would take us”.
Concerns regarding whether Best Available Science was being applied continued, and new rules were enacted in 2001. This allowed for an Endangered Species Act (ESA) 4(d) rule exemption, a provision allowing the federal government to adopt state rules that, when applied, would avoid “take”. These rules are often referred to as the Forest and Fish document.
Today, Forest Rules are assessed for effectiveness through Washington State Department of Natural Resource's Scientific Advisory Groups in the Adaptive Management Program, with all stakeholders as participants, including the Nisqually Tribe. The struggle to find balance between economic and environmental concerns continues, and Forest Practices continue to be monitored on an FPA by FPA basis.
Timber, Fish and Wildlife Staff
George Walter, Environmental Program Manager
Joan Miniken, Timber, Fish and Wildlife Biologist