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Alternate Plan Templates
Riparian Zones

The Rural Technology Initiative (RTI) Advisory Board identified riparian management as the key to sustainable forest management for many small owners. RTI is developing alternate plan templates for riparian zones. These plans address differences in riparian zones, providing ecologically and economically sound alternatives. This page provides links to information important to the development of alternate plan templates.

Yates Building, 14th & Independence, Washington DC

Developing management templates that increase biodiversity while maintaining economic viability in intensively managed forests

Kevin Zobrist, Forest Management and Economics Analyst

Presented September 13th and 15th, 2005

The University of Washington and RTI reported to the House Committee on Resources and the USDA on the results of a recently completed study involving biodiversity on intensively managed forests. Click here to watch the streaming video presentation.

Developing alternate plan templates to achieve riparian goals on family forest ownerships in Washington

Type 3 stream in Eastern Washington

There has been increasing interest in the creation of templates to facilitate the development of alternate riparian management plans for family forest owners in Washington State. While several management options for these landowners are established in the Forests and Fish Rules, landowners may also submit site-specific alternate plans. The purpose of alternate plans is to "meet riparian functions while requiring less costly regulatory prescriptions" (RCW 76.113-110). RTI case studies indicate many family forest owners will have significant economic losses given the management options available under the FFR (see RTI Fact Sheet 2 and Fact Sheet 20). A funded Forestry Riparian Easement Program (FREP) has the ability to help only a small proportion of these landowners.

At the same time, opportunities have been identified where an alternate plan approach may do a better job of meeting riparian function than can be achieved under the rules. These opportunities include hardwood riparian stands that could be converted to conifer, eastside riparian forests that have health issues leaving them vulnerable to insect outbreaks and fire, and overstocked stands that would benefit from thinnings that may not be allowed or economical under the rules.

A streamlined process for the development and approval of alternate plans is necessary to facilitate the large number of landowners who could benefit from an alternate plan. The Forest Practice Rules provide for the creation of template prescriptions to simplify the development of alternate plans for common situations (WAC 222-12-0403).

Legislative findings regarding alternate plans and templates

Below are links to the legislative documentation that sets the parameters of our work. They are outside the RTI website and will open in a new window.

Washington State Capitol Building, Olympia

Background Fact Sheets

Below are links to an array of fact sheets, all of which have contributed to the development of alternate plan templates:

RTI logo Fact Sheet 2: Case studies examining the economic impacts of the Forests and Fish rules on NIPF landowners in Western Washington
Fact Sheet 6: Defining and Using Biologically Based Targets in Forest Management: Incorporating Forest Structure and Variability
Fact Sheet 8: The Impact of Riparian Forest Management on Shade Production
Fact Sheet 9: The Impact of Riparian Forest Management on Large Woody Debris (LWD) Recruitment Potential
Fact Sheet 20: Impacts of the Forest and Fish Rules on Non-Industrial Private Forest landowners in north eastern Washington: Some key consequences from riparian zone case study evaluation
Fact Sheet 24: The Emerging Consensus for Active Management in Young Forests

Background Report:

Below are related reports/papers that have been written by RTI students, faculty, and staff. They contain significantly more information that their related fact sheets, and they tend to be more technically detailed.

Westside Templates

Below are fact sheets, articles, and presentations that show how to develop sound alternate plans for Westside situations.
Overstocked stand, Western Washington

Eastside Templates

Below are fact sheets, articles, and presentations that develop sound alternate plans for some Eastside situations.

East Side stand at risk of mountain pine beetle


Westside Templates

  • Bruce Lippke, RTI Director:

Eastside Templates

  • Bruce Lippke, RTI Director:
  • Elaine Oneil, RTI PhD Student:
Replanted treescape

School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
USDA Forest Service State & Private Forestry
WSU Cooperative Extension
The Rural Technology Home Page is provided by the College of Forest Resources. For more information, please contact the Rural Technology Initiative, University of Washington Box 352100 Seattle, WA 98195, (206) 543-0827. © 2000-2004, University of Washington, Rural Technology Initiative, including all photographs and images unless otherwise noted. To view the privacy policy, click here.
Last Updated 10/13/2022 11:33:59 AM