WWRP-Forestland Forestland Preservation-Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program


$1 million


Grant Limit



Match Requirement

50 percent


Forestland preservation grants provide funding to lease or buy voluntary land preservation agreements (also called conservation easements) for forests to ensure they remain available for timber production in the future. Grant recipients also may use some of the funding to restore habitats in forests.

The program is part of the larger Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, which was created in 1990 to conserve land for outdoor recreation and wildlife, to keep pace with a growing population. In 2016, the Legislature expanded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program to include preservation of forestland with the goal of supporting working forests that also provide habitat for wildlife, environmental benefits, and public access.

Grant Application Schedule

Item Date

Applicant Webinar, Applications Open

Watch Application Webinar

February 14, 2024 

Application Due

May 1, 2024 

Technical Review (Written)

May 13, 2024 - June 5, 2024

Technical Completion Deadline

July 11, 2024 

Project Evaluation (Written)

July 22, 2024 - August 13, 2024

Board Approves Preliminary Ranked Lists

October 29, 2024 - October 30, 2024

Grant Award History

Most recent grants and evaluation results, listed by the application year.

Application Resources

Grant Manual


Project Celebrations
Girl under sprinkler

Definition of Forestland

The following types of forests are eligible: industrial, private, community, tribal, and publicly owned forests.

The land must be devoted primarily to timber production and be enrolled in a county’s open space or forestland property tax program.

  • Open Space Property Tax Program designates timberlands for the production of forest crops to assure the use and enjoyment of natural resources and scenic beauty for the economic and social well-being of the state and its citizens.
  • Forestland Property Tax Program designates lands to enhance water supply; minimize soil erosion and storm and flood damage to people or property; provide habitat for wild game; provide scenic and recreational spaces; contribute to the natural ecological equilibrium; contribute to employment and profits; and contribute raw materials for products needed by everyone.

Forestland must be a contiguous five or more acres devoted primarily to the growth and cutting of trees for commercial purposes. The tax program includes the following:

  • The land only and not any homes.
  • Land used for incidental uses compatible with the growing and cutting of trees but not more than 10 percent of the forestland.
  • Land housing equipment or other facilities necessary for the production, preparation, or sale of the timber products.

Typical Projects

  • Buying a conservation easement or lease for a forest threatened with development
  • In conjunction with a conservation easement or lease, restoring stream corridors to support clean water and fish habitat

Who May Apply?

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • Nonprofit nature conservancies
  • State Conservation Commission


Funding comes from the sale of state bonds and is estimated to be $575,000 every two years.

Grant Limits

Grant applicants may request any amount up to $500,000.

Match Details

Cities, counties, and nonprofits must provide a one-to-one matching share. There is no match requirement for the Washington State Conservation Commission.

Match may include the following:

  • Appropriations or cash
  • Bonds
  • Donations of cash, land, labor, equipment, and materials
  • Other grants
  • Applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials

Eligible Projects

  • Land acquisition through easements or leases (required for all projects). Public access is not required.
  • Habitat enhancement or restoration, in conjunction with land acquisition. These activities, such as installing fences or bridges, replanting riverbanks, and replacing culverts, must further the ecological functions of the forestland.
  • Combination of land acquisition and either restoration or enhancement

Projects must include correcting all fish passage barriers on property owned by a private, small forest landowner not otherwise required by the Forest Practices Act. Grant recipients also are required to do a baseline inventory of the condition of the property.

Ineligible Projects

  • Acquisition of rights for a term of less than perpetuity, of land already owned by the grant applicant or sponsor, of properties acquired via a condemnation, and of land to satisfy a Habitat Conservation Plan under the Endangered Species Act
  • Consumable supplies such as fuel, fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, except as a one-time application if they part of otherwise eligible acquisition or restoration activities
  • Elements that cannot be defined as fixtures or capital items
  • Environmental cleanup of illegal activities, such as meth labs
  • Indoor facilities
  • Purchase of maintenance equipment, tools, or supplies
  • Restoration work done before a grant agreement is signed
  • Restoration work required under the Forest Practices Act or other regulatory mitigation requirement, except as described under the Fish Passage Barriers section
  • Routine operation and maintenance costs
  • Transfer of development rights
  • Utility payments such as monthly water or electric bills

Long-term Commitment

Land acquired with conservation easements or leases, and habitat enhanced or restored, must be kept and maintained for forestland forever.

More information is in Manual 7: Long-term Obligations.