WEC is a member of the Forests & Fish Conservation Caucus, which was formed by the environmental community to participate in the state’s collaborative Forest Practices’ Adaptive Management Program, with the goal of providing better habitat protections for salmon and other aquatic species on more than 9 million acres of state and private forestland.

Our work with the Adaptive Management Program aims to ensure forested buffers along stream banks keep water temperatures cool and sediment levels low, improve habitat, identify unstable slopes and protect them from erosion to reduce landslide risk, identify fish-bearing streams and remove fish habitat barriers like culverts. All this work aims to meet water quality standards established under the Clean Water Act and protect Washington’s aquatic species.

Cool temperatures in our headwater mountain streams are essential to providing suitable habitat for amphibians and downstream fish. Washington’s Forest Practice rules are designed to keep the temperature low in streams that are adjacent to timber harvests, but recent studies have found that water temperatures are increasing after harvests. Currently, WEC is engaged in efforts to address these studies and better protect Washington’s headwater streams.


Science-based recommendations and technical information are critical in making management decisions to keep our forests healthy.

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The State of Our Forests and Public Lands report looks back on the Commissioner of Public Land’s past year in office to reflect on where progress has been made, where work still needs to be done, and where things need improvement.

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Read about how forest practices impact aquatic habitat for salmon and other species

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Program Contact

Alec Brown, Forests & Fish Program Manager