King County’s 30-year Forest Plan
A 30-year forest plan released Tuesday by the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks aims to mitigate climate change, improve forest health, increase the tree canopy in unincorporated cities, improve public access to forests, enhance salmon habitat, improve water quality and supply, and support a sustainable timber industry. Along with forest landowners, the plan relies on nonprofits, and tribal, state and federal government resources. Researchers anticipate that climate change will affect forests in a number of ways, including bigger winter floods and less snowpack. Drier and hotter summers that increase the likelihood of droughts and wildfires also are expected. The county plans to shepherd forests that are able to adapt to and recover from the changes, by planting trees of the same species as those found in the area, and which need minimal human maintenance to thrive. In order to reach that goal, the county will rely on predictions from researchers and the results of studies to determine which trees are more climate-resilient.