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WSU/Pend Oreille Extension introduced the Sense of Place series in 1999, with a focus on place-based stewardship education. Since 2001, a partnership with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department (KNRD) has supported this newsletter and allowed us to expand class offerings through EPA funding. Further staff support comes through Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA). Many thanks to our partners and to you, our readers, for your continued enthusiasm for "digging" into the natural history and culture of this part of the world.

The Cumulative Power of Small Acreage Management

by Carol Mack • WSU/Pend Oreille County Extension

Washington State has 215,000 families and individuals that control about five and a half million acres of non-industrial forestland, making this the largest rural land use group in the state. In Pend Oreille County, according to the 2007 Washington State Forestland Database, there are 5,450 parcels with 3,740 owners, totaling 111,447 acres. 80% of that acreage is forested. While two thirds of our county is in public ownership (see chart below), our small private forestlands are particularly significant because they occupy the most productive lower elevation sites in the county, and lie along much of the county’s shorelines. No matter how small our acreage or home site, how we manage these lands has an impact beyond our boundary lines. A property stewardship plan can help each of us clarify our own unique mix of goals and objectives, and set a timetable of activities to achieve them. As thousands of small acreage landowners put stewardship plans into action, the improvements in wildlife habitat, timber harvest, wildfire risk, water quality, recreation and other goals truly add up. This potential collective impact is proof that our individual actions can make a very important difference in the quality of world we pass on to future Pend Oreille County generations.

For more information on creating an informal stewardship plan, visit:


Land Ownership in Pend Oreille County

Ownership Category
Acreage in County Percent of County
Federal Total
529,319 acres 59.2%
US Forest Service
527,725 acres 58.9%
Bureau of Land Management
1,594 acres 0.2%
State of Washington
34,251 acres 3.8%
County (including Port and PUD)
10,937 acres 1.2%
Kalispel Tribe
6,040 acres 0.7%
Incorporated Cities and Towns (including interim UGA)
5,159 acres 0.6%
City of Seattle
859 acres 0.1%
Private total
308,797 acres 34.5%
Agricultural Open Space
28,280 acres 3.1%
Designated Timber
223,341 acres 24.9%
Other Rural Areas
57,200 acres 6.4%
Private Industrial forestland
86,020 acres*
Small Forest Landowner
110,447 acres*
Tribal forestland acres
1,004 acres*
Total private forestland
197,471 acres*

Sources: Pend Oreille County Comprehensive plan http://www.pendoreilleco.org/county/planning.asp

Rural Technology Institute Washington State Forestland Database (data indicated by *) http://www.ruraltech.org/projects/wrl/fldb/index.asp

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