Washington State has one of the most restrictive sets of Forest Practice Rules (FPR) in the United States. In 1974, the Washington State legislature passed the Forest Practice Act, with the intent of improving environmental conditions by regulating forest practices such as road building,
harvesting methods, and the use of chemicals. We found that a knowledge gap exists within the private forest landowner community in Washington State with regards to some state and federal environmental regulations. The larger-acreage landowners with longer ownership tenures were more familiar
with forest regulations than were the newer smaller-acreage landowners, based on a survey conducted in 2002. Regardless of regulation familiarity, a substantial number of respondents expressed concern over the limits placed on their ability to manage their lands as they see fit. This sentiment
does not seem to arise purely from the potential for economic loss, because timber does not appear to be an important component of respondent incomes. Rather, the loss of management control and government restrictions placed on private property rights may be more significant. Agencies responsible
for enforcing these regulations need to recognize that changes are taking place in the greater forest landowner community, and that the approaches of the past may no longer be appropriate for the future. West. J. Appl. For. 20(3):192–198.
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