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Thurston County, Washington

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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 – Winter 2023)
Update the County's forest conversion ordinance (Thurston County Development Code Section 17.25) to streamline permit processes and make provisions easier to understand and adding a Tree Conservation Standards Chapter (17.27) to outline tree protections for single family housing developments.

Studying our Forest Canopy (Winter 2023 - Summer 2024)
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 (Fall 2023 – Fall 2024)
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 – Winter 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.

Get involved! We'd love to hear from you.

The Healthy Forests Project is a County-initiated project that was officially docketed by the Board of County Commissioners in 2009 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 early-2023 or 2024 under  development code docket items JP-2, JP-3, and JP-4).

The project timeline is tentative and subject to change--last updated June 1, 2023.

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

Board of County Commissioners 

November 2, 2023

Planning Commission

August 16, 2023

June 7, 2023

Board of County Commissioners 

February 3, 2022 

Planning Commission