Washington Conservation Action (WCA) is looking for a consultant to lead a credible analysis of opportunities to improve multi-objective sustained yield modeling for decadal harvest plans on forested trust lands in Eastern and Western Washington.

Organizational Overview

WCA is a statewide environmental advocacy organization that advances environmental policies and pushes for actions that equitably address climate pollution, restore Puget Sound, sustain our state’s forests, and protect our democracy. We develop, advocate, and defend policies that ensure environmental progress and justice by centering and amplifying the voices of the most impacted communities.


The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is conducting scoping and has begun work on the strategic model for two separate sustained yield models on forested state trust lands in Washington, the Eastern and Western Washington Sustainable Harvest Calculations (SHC). Each SHC sets the decadal harvest volume for the respective region of the state. The Board of Natural Resources (BNR) provides oversight and final approval of both SHC’s. In a 2022 resolution (Resolution 1591), the Board of Natural Resources directed DNR to consider additional remote sensing technologies in forest inventory planning and implementation, and to use a multi-objective model that includes additional objectives like “stored carbon, watershed protection, fish and wildlife habitat attributes, ecological functions and values, associated carbon sequestration, forest health, landscape structural diversity, and local community economies.” DNR is presently working to incorporate necessary data to meet the requirements of the resolution.

Looking to the future, there is a need to evolve the SHC process in response to BNR’s directive, the uncertain impacts of climate change, and DNR’s mandate. However, at this stage there are limitations to the changes that can be made to DNR’s Forest Estate Model for the 2025-2034 SHC. There are outstanding questions about how to effectively model changes to forest inventory with due consideration for the impacts of climate change, and how the SHC can incorporate multi-objective optimization to include outputs and values additional to timber harvest (e.g. ecological function, forest health, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity).


Consultants will produce a single deliverable in two parts: 1) an initial white paper which WCA will then review and may request additional detail and/or clarification, and 2) a final deliverable incorporating feedback from WCA.

The initial white paper will include the following:

  • 1-2 page executive summary of the overall assessment findings.
  • Detailed report of the methods/framework used to analyze specific questions related to modeling.
  • Detailed analysis of specific topics (listed below).
  • Discussion of capacity/limitations to current SHC modeling including data, software, and approach.
  • Discussion and recommendations for improving accuracy and outcomes of a multi-objective model for future Sustainable Harvest Calculations.

Specific topics of analysis in the white paper will include the following: 

  • The limitations of the current Forest Estate Model with regards to: 
  • Accurately modeling changing climate conditions, and 
  • Quantifying and optimizing for non-timber outcomes (carbon sequestration and storage, forest health), including the specific limitations associated with models that do not simulate year-over-year changes. 
  • The advantages and challenges of a process-based model for the SHC, including in modeling critical factors like disturbance and climate change. 
  • The advantages and challenges of spatially explicit modeling for the SHC in including external factors are not captured in the current model (e.g. adjacent private forests).
  • The advantages and challenges of a simulation approach for the SHC, including why creating a range of scenarios provides more information about possible outcomes.
  • What challenges a simulation approach may create for decisionmakers (i.e. BNR members) that are not accustomed to a wider range of scenarios and expect a narrower predicted outcome.
  • How DNR can transition to a process-based simulation: what additional data, tools, and capabilities are needed.
  • A brief feasibility assessment of making this transition to a process-based simulation for the 2035 SHC.
  • Recommendations for more modest adjustments to the existing model would be most impactful for the 2035 SHC, given timeline and limitations in DNR’s capacity to make changes.
  • Any additional tools or resources to aid decisionmakers in understanding the benefits of transitioning to a simulation approach.

Application Process

  • Complete the following:
  • Prepare the following information for the intake form:
    • Organization/company name, physical mailing address and EIN#
    • Project lead name, job title, email address, phone number
  • Complete the intake form. Upload completed application and budget documents as described in the intake form. Application materials must be submitted no later than the end of business day on 7/26/2024.

Scoring Criteria

Projects will be scored on the following criteria. A total of 25 points are available. 

Overall approach is summarized thoughtfully and concisely. Approach is clear, realistic, and credible.5
Proposal demonstrates ability to communicate highly technical topics to a general audience clearly and concisely. 5
Proposal demonstrates a qualified team that has successfully completed projects with quantifiable outcomes. If the team history on comparable work is limited, describe how the team plans to be successful, despite significant applied experience. 5
Proposed timeline is achievable by deadline (12/02/2024) and the included work elements demonstrate a commitment to completing high quality work in a timely manner. 5
Proposed budget demonstrates a commitment to fair compensation and efficient use of funds, falls within established budget range.5

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