Skip to main content

Thurston County, Washington

Community Planning and Economic Development

Thurston County Healthy Forests Project

Project Information

The Healthy Forests Project is Official Development Code Docket Item A-25, and consists of four integrated planning efforts:

Managing Forest Conversions (Spring 2022 – Spring 2023)
Update the County's forest conversion ordinance (Thurston County Development Code Section 17.25 and Title 18) to streamline permit processes and make provisions easier to understand and implement.

Studying our Forest Canopy (Summer 2022 - Summer 2023)
Complete a detailed geospatial analysis to better understand the extent and composition of the county's forest resources. This assessment will help identify forested areas at highest risk of conversion and opportunities for conservation and restoration.

Planning for a Growing Forest Canopy (Spring 2023 – Winter 2023)
Update county tree planting standards (Thurston County Development Code Titles 18 and 20) and review forest conservation programs with the aim of growing and restoring healthy forests in our rural areas.

Planning for our Urban Forests (Spring 2023 – Summer 2024)
Update urban forest management provisions for the north county cities' urban growth areas as part of the Joint Code Update projects with Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater.

Are you a small forest landowner? Have you gotten a forest conversion permit or requested a moratorium release from the County? We want to hear from you! Share your experience with Project Manager, Dana Bowers via this comment form

The Healthy Forests Project is a County-initiated project that was officially docketed by the Board of County Commissioners in 2020 as A-25, Update Forest Conversion Ordinance and Review Tree Protection Standards. It was later clarified to include a countywide canopy assessment and focus on a review of rural tree protection standards. Tree protection provisions for the North County urban growth areas will be reviewed and updated as part of the upcoming Joint Code Update (expected to begin in late-2022 or 2023 under  development code docket items JP-2, JP-3, and JP-4).

The project timeline is tentative and subject to change--last updated January 3, 2023.

  • Spring 2022 - Internal Research; Community and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Spring 2023 - Planning Commission Review & Public Hearing
  • Spring 2023 - SEPA Determination
  • Summer 2023 - BoCC Review, BoCC Public Hearing, BoCC Final Action

Board of County Commissioners 

February 3, 2022 


Planning Commission:

Public Comment:

No public comments have been received.