Washington State Forestland Database
NRSIG Budget: $871,533
Project Budget: $871,533
Timeline: Ongoing since January 2001
Partners: FFF, WA DNR, WFFA


Beginning with the passage of Washington State House Bill 2091, otherwise known as the Salmon Recovery Act (1998), the State has had an interest in quantifying the numbers, acres and other characteristics of small forest landowners (SFLO) and their lands. The Washington State Forestland Database was developed to provide a comprehensive platform for understanding the spatial characteristics of all private forestland ownership in the state, including family forests. The Database is an ArcGIS 9.2 Geodatabase and designed for use in Microsoft Access or any ESRI ArcGIS product.

Our Work

The Washington State Forestland Database combines land ownership, land use and assessment information with physical characteristics of the land to develop economic, social and environmental metrics about the forest land base. The spatially-explicit information in the database allows for analysis at the watershed, county and state level. This high-resolution dataset can produce maps, statistics and models at multiple scales. Over time it will become a comprehensive platform for understanding how forest land ownership and land use is changing, thereby enabling new science and research to inform public policy analysis, debate and action.


Three primary products were developed: the Washington State Forestland Database, statistics on the numbers and acres of forestland parcels and maps of the distribution and extent of private forestlands. Statistics derived from the Database reveal that 215 thousand small forest landowners own 5.7 million acres of forestland, half of the 11.6 million acres of private forestland in the state. Over 89 thousand of those small forest landowners have ownerships greater than 10 acres and 55 thousand own more than 20 acres. The maps of the distribution of forestlands in the State of Washington show that small forest landowner properties, often adjacent to suburban and exurban lands, provide a critical buffer between upland industrial forestlands and lowland residential areas.


For more information, view or download The 2007 Washington State Forestland Database Final Report (PDF) or visit the legacy project page at the Rural Technology Initiative.

More about the 2019 Washington State Forestland Database can be found at Analyzing State Regulatory Impact on Small Forestland Owners (nrsig.org)

Erickson, A K.; Who Owns Washington's Working Forestland? Western Forester (March/April 2006).

Cooke, A.G., McLaughlin, M., The Evolution of the Washington State Forestland Database Project, Western Forester (January/February 2012).