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Timber Sale Postponed

The Harstine Flats timber sale had been scheduled for auction this year, but has now been canceled by DNR in response to increasing public pressure.  Thanks to you, this forest is now safe, but the battle is not over!


This forest is still at risk!

The fight to save this legacy forest is not over.

SIGN the Petition asking DNR to permanently protect this forest!



LiDAR Image



Google Earth

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Note:  Location shown on map is approximateSee sale map for exact location.



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This fir tree is over five feet in diameter.  Large trees like this play a critical ecological role, offering niche habitats for wildlife, and storing large amounts of carbon.  Micro-habitat diversity has been demonstrated to increase with increasing tree diameter.  Bark structures such as bark pockets, bark pockets with decay, and bowls in the bark can support a diverse array of fungi, lichens, and invertebrates.


to STOP the Harstine Flats Timber Sale

Thanks for submitting!

To Chair Franz and the Board of Natural Resources:

The undersigned urge you to permanently protect the Harstine Flats legacy forest, located on the south end of Harstine Island.

Almost all of the natural and old growth forests that once dominated the South Puget Sound region have been logged.  The Puget Sound lowlands are now covered mostly by urban and residential developments, agricultural fields, and industrial forestlands.  It is important to protect the few remaining, natural "legacy" forests that are left.  These forests are an important part of our natural heritage, and function as ecological "lifeboats" for a wide variety of plant and wildlife species, and hundreds of lesser-known species of insects, lichens, bryophytes, mushrooms, and other fungi.

Natural legacy forests like those found on Harstine Island are different from other managed (or planted) forests in a number of ways.  The most obvious difference is that the trees are much larger than in managed forests.  Many of the dominant trees in this timber sale measure more than 4 feet in diameter and close to 200 feet tall. Because these forests were often selectively logged or "high-graded" in the early 1900's, and allowed to grow back on their own, they are also much more structurally and biologically diverse.

Walk through the Harstine Flats legacy forest, and you will find that it contains multiple canopy layers, composed of a wide variety of trees of different sizes.  Gaps in the overstory canopy allow sunlight to reach the forest floor, creating a complex mosaic of different plant communities composed of a diverse array of small trees, shrubs and wildflowers.  Standing dead trees and logs provide critical nesting habitat for small mammals, and countless other forms of life.
This forest provides learning opportunities for students, and is a popular recreational destination for hunters, hikers, bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.   Older forests like these also absorb more carbon from the atmosphere per acre than any other forests in the world, thus slowing the rate of climate change.
There is no defense for logging this forest.  DNR forest inventory records reveal that there are thousands of acres of plantation forests managed by DNR in Mason County that are currently available for harvest.  Plantation forests hold more than enough timber to satisfy overall sustainable harvest targets for the current planning decade, and fulfill DNR's current commitments to its beneficiaries.  There is no need to clearcut this forest.  DNR is not fulfilling a mandate or following best available science by logging this rare, century-old forest.

We are not asking DNR to end logging on state forest lands.  We simply asking that you protect the last best remaining lowland legacy forests, which occupy less than ten percent of all state forest lands in Mason County.  Please put a stop to the destruction of these irreplaceable forests and permanently protect the Harstene Flats legacy forest.

This petition will be sent to the following people:

Hilary Franz

Commissioner of Public Lands


Todd Welker

Deputy Supervisor for State Uplands


Don Melton

DNR South Puget Sound Region Manager


Audrey Mainwaring
Managing Forester

Lisa Janicki

Board Member and Skagit County Commissioner


Dan Brown

Board Member and Professor

University of Washington


Chris Reykdal

Board Member and Superintendant

of Public Instruction


Wendy Powers, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
Washington State University


Jim Cahill

Board Member and Senior Budget

Assistant to Jay Inslee


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