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The mission of CRF is to achieve the permanent protection of the last remaining legacy forests in Western Washington by working with impacted local communities and state policymakers. CRF also works in partnership with other conservation organizations to accelerate the adoption of  state  forest policy and practices  grounded in the science of forest ecology.

CRF works to  change DNR’s forest management policies and practices on state forestlands using these effective strategies:

  • Supporting local communities and county governments across Western Washington to conserve the legacy forests they so highly value. The CRF team shares information about tools and tactics local communities can use to assist them in their organizing efforts. CRF helps connect people and organizations  who are working in different communities so they can learn from one another, and be stronger together in their fight for larger policy change for greater collective impact.  

  • Advocating for statewide ecological forest management policy changes, including legacy forest conservation. 

  • Strategically challenging state forest management policies in court when the practices used are in clear violation of agency policy and/or related state law.

  • Educating the public about why these forests are ecologically important. This includes organizing educational symposiums, speaker series, community hikes, and other opportunities for the public to learn about forest ecology and build meaningful relationships with intact forest ecosystems. 

  • Training “field checking” volunteers, as well as biologists and photographers to gather data and capture images of these forests for education and advocacy efforts.

  • Building coalitions with conservation organizations and community groups across Western Washington who want to join the legacy forest movement.

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Mature legacy forests in Western Washington are rapidly disappearing, as the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) auctions them off on a monthly basis to the highest bidder.


These rare and unique forests are irreplaceable lifeboats of biodiversity that make our communities more resilient to the climate crisis.


Since its founding in 2020 by Stephen Kropp, the Center for Responsible Forestry has been working to stop the senseless clearcutting of the last remaining structurally complex, carbon dense legacy forests, and to prevent them from being converted to single-species commercial tree plantations.

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Legacy Forests:
Our Best Carbon Workhorses

Legacy Forests:
on the chopping block

Washington holds one of the world’s most powerful climate tools right here in our state-owned forests: 77,000 acres of older, diverse, carbon-dense forests, many close to a hundred years old. These older, structurally complex forests are among the very best in the world at carbon storage and sequestration. 

These state lands are managed by the Department of Natural Resources on our behalf. We ask the Legislature to:

  1. Immediately protect our most carbon-dense, structurally complex public forests

  2. Have the state invest in purchasing replacement lands. These are younger forests in which we can implement climate-smart forest management to produce timber while also sequestering more carbon. This maintains rural jobs and a long-term timber supply.  

Climate Commitment Act
This Act calls for us to reduce Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions. Simply by NOT cutting down these older, carbon dense forests, we avoid emitting over 31 million metric tons of Carbon - that’s more than half of our 2030 target! These investments in Washington’s older forests fit multiple goals: carbon sequestration, forest health, working lands protected from conversion, and resilience to climate change impacts like wildfire, flooding, water shortage, and biodiversity loss. 

Despite the climate impacts, these older forests are on the chopping block.
If we don’t act, these 77,000 acres of older forests will be clearcut. Roughly 4,000 acres are scheduled to be logged this year alone. That takes us in the wrong direction for climate. 

Our Coalition:
action in 2023

This campaign is led by a steering committee of scientists and forest policy experts from across Washington State. 

We are a coalition of organizations working together to protect Washington's older state forests, including: 

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