Designated Forest Land
Washington State encourages sound forestry practices so that present and future generations can enjoy the many benefits that healthy forests provide. As a way to encourage responsible, commercial forestry in Washington State, landowners may choose to have their land designated as forest land. This designation often results in a lower assessed value and lower taxes.
All of the requirements must be met to qualify for the Designated Forest Land (DFL) Program.
- The land must be used primarily for growing and harvesting timber for commercial purposes.
- The land must consist of a single parcel of 5 or more acres; or multiple, contiguous parcels totaling 5 or more acres. Residential home sites are not included in the 5 acre minimum.
- Designated forest land may include land used for incidental uses that are compatible with growing and harvesting timber, but no more than ten percent of the land may be used for such incidental uses.
- If the land has appurtenances necessary for the production, preparation, or sale of the timber products, that land may also be included.
- You must comply with forest practice laws and regulations.
- Application and Forest Management Plan must be submitted to the Assessor.
- The application fee is $450 and is non-refundable. Please include the fee with your application and make the check payable to "San Juan County Treasurer".
|The Designated Forest Land application fee is $450 and is non-refundable. Please include the fee with your application and make the check payable to "San Juan County Treasurer".|
Who may apply?
An owner or contract purchaser may apply for designated forest land assessment. However, all owners or contract purchaser must sign the application for classification, and any resulting agreement.
When may I apply?
Applications may be made for classification at any time during the year from January 1 through December 31. If approved, designated forest land assessment will begin on January 1 following the year the application was submitted.
The owner(s) must submit the application, a Forest Management Plan, as one document, and $450 application fee prior to December 31 to be considered the following year. The application will not be processed without a Forest Management Plan prepared by a professional forester.
- Application for Designated Forest Land Parcels with Same Ownership 62 0021 (Download, fill-in)
- Application for Designated Forest Land Parcels with Multiple Ownerships 62 0110 (Download, fill-in)
- Designated Forest Land Management Plan Requirements (pdf)
The application and Forest Management Plan are submitted at the same time to the Assessor's Office. As a condition of application approval or for continuance in the Designated Forest Land classification, the owner is required to submit a Forest Management Plan prepared by a professional forester. The Forest Management Plan shall be assembled in a single document and submitted to the Assessor's Office. The Forest Management Plan must contain all the requirements identified in the "Designated Forest Land Management Plan Requirements".
If approved, designated status begins January 1 the year after you apply. If the Assessor does not notify you as to whether your application was approved or denied prior to July 1 of the year after you apply, the application is automatically approved. If denied, you may appeal the denial to San Juan County Board of Equalization.
Please click Additional Information - DFL for additional information on the following topics:
- Valuation of land in the Designated Forest Land Program
- Reclassification of designated forest land
- Removal of land from the Designated Forest Land Program and compensating taxes
- Sale or transfer of land in the Designated Forest Land Program