Washington State Department of Natural Resources
Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is an organization based in Olympia, WA that preserves, protects, and conserves over 5, 600,000 acres of state lands. Types include shore and coastlines, lakes, rivers, forest, agriculture, range, and commercial lands. Enforcement officers carry out conservation goals throughout the state in conjunction with the Washington State Patrol.
Ecological restoration, natural disasters, and mine cleanup data is collected for land developers, government agencies, and other public sources. Washington also has “sensitive” or fragile ecosystems that require continual conservation and monitoring such as Maury Island and Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area.
The Commissioner of Public Lands oversees the working relationship between the DNR and the twenty-nine federally recognized Washington state tribes in addition to nearby interested tribes. The DNR respects tribe sovereignty and separate rights to shared natural resources.
The DNR has organized the state into six regions. They are the following:
- South Puget Sound
- Pacific Cascade
Aquatic Resources has six goals. They are the following:
- “Encourage direct public use and access.
- Foster water-dependent uses.
- Ensure environmental protection.
- Promote continuing production of renewable resources.
- Allow suitable state aquatic lands to be used for mineral and material production.
- Generate income from use of aquatic lands, consistent with the previous goals.”
Recreation The DNR manages state parks, open spaces, and greenbelts to offer recreation opportunities such as boating, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and off-road vehicle usage. The DNR also provides information on maps, area closures, and trip planning.
Forest Resources and Practices:
- Oversees conservation actions related to mining leases, timber sales, and land use planning.
- Replants harvested forests to continue forest sustainability.
- Sets goals for timber harvesting’s “sustainable volume” to uphold plant and animal health.
- Forest practices provide information for forest permits, forms, fees, technical state requirements, and protecting cultural resources when working in the forest.
- Manages the Washington Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan for “at-risk” species. This document sets conservation goals to revitalize diminished habitats.
Geology and Earth Resources
- Information on geologic maps, surveys, current data, licensing, and mineral exploration
- State lands are leased for energy development, mineral and rock exploration, commercial real estate, grazing, agricultural irrigation.
- State aquatic lands such as rivers, tidelands, rights-of-way, and marinas
- Wild geoducks and shellfish
- Timber, grass, tree seedlings, maps
- Recreational passes
Revenue is used for:
- Maintaining and restoring ecosystems
- Higher education
- Government entities
- Local projects
Wildfire The DNR follows land use planning documents to prepare forests for wildfires, but to also protect human resources. On-call services manage current conditions and notify the public when emergencies occur. Burn bans and permits control human and ecological risks.
Right of Way Section Contact
- Janet Ballew
Leasing Section Contact
- Tom Shay
Drilling and Well-Development Contact
- Dave Norman