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Conserving wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations.

Land Trust News

Managing Your Own Land with a Conservation Lens

As stewards of over 6,000 acres of forestland in Skagit County, we get questions from landowners interested in learning more about how to best manage their own lands to preserve wildlife habitat and protect conservation values on their properties. It all starts with getting to know your land and deciding what your management goals are. There is a lot to learn, but there are some great programs out there for those interested in managing their own forests.

Washington State University (WSU) Extension Forestry supplies a wide array of learning opportunities for the curious landowner. You can find online resources and classes on their website (including Forest Stewardship University).

Their in-person field days are full of interesting short classes taught by engaging local experts. When it’s offered, nothing beats the “Coached Planning Course”, which guides landowners through the process of finding their goals and developing their own Forest Stewardship Plans. It truly helps you to know your land at a deeper level, and a forester visits your property to supply personalized recommendations on how to manage your land.

The Skagit Conservation District is another fantastic local resource. Their forester can provide initial consultation to figure out what specific needs and concerns landowners have with forest planning, best management practice implementation, and monitoring forest resources. They can help you find and apply for funding sources to develop a forest management plan and implement forestry best practices to improve your forest’s health. Their community wildfire resilience coordinator (who serves both Whatcom and Skagit conservation districts) can also help landowners understand and mitigate wildfire risk on their properties.

Finally, the Washington Farm Forestry Association is a membership-based group of forest landowners. They share information about forest-relevant events, and regularly publish resources on managing forestlands in Washington state for their members. Visit our website, to find links for all these resources.

If you have forest lands that you are interested in permanently protecting through a conservation easement or land donation, please reach out to Permanent conservation can be a way to protect the trees, plants, and wildlife habitat you care about for generations to come. For more information on stewarding your property, see our Guide to Stewarding Your Property.

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