Washington State Department of Natural Resources

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Washington State Department of Natural Resources
File:Washington State Department of Natural Resources logo.svg
Department overview
Formed 1957 (1957)[1]
Preceding agencies
  • Washington State Division of Forestry
  • Washington State Department of Conservation and Development
  • Washington State Land Department
Type Environmental agency
Jurisdiction State of Washington
Headquarters Natural Resources Building
1111 Washington Street SE,
Olympia, Washington
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Department executive
Website www.dnr.wa.gov

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages over 3,000,000 acres (12,000 km2) of forest, range, agricultural, and commercial lands for the U.S. state of Washington. The DNR also manages 2,600,000 acres (11,000 km2) of aquatic areas which include shorelines, tidelands, lands under Puget Sound and the coast, and navigable lakes and rivers. Part of the DNR's management responsibility includes monitoring of mining cleanup, environmental restoration, providing scientific information about earthquakes, landslides, and ecologically sensitive areas. DNR also works towards conservation, in the form of Aquatic Reserves such as Maury Island or the Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area.

The main sources of funds for the department's activities are forestry and geoduck harvesting, rather than taxes. In addition, the State uses revenue generated from DNR-managed lands to fund the construction of public schools, colleges, universities, and other government institutions, and county and state services.

The head of DNR is an elected official, referred to as the Commissioner of Public Lands. The current Commissioner of Public Lands is Peter Goldmark, who was elected on November 4, 2008


  • Aquatic Resources
  • Conservation, Recreation, and Transactions
  • Engineering and General Services
  • Financial Management
  • Forest Practices
  • Forest Resources
  • Geology and Earth Resources
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Product Sales and Leasing

Management of public lands

Aquatic reserves

Aquatic Reserves Areas which are designed to “conserve, preserve, restore, and/or enhance” aquatic habitats and species. There are four main goals of an Aquatic Reserve. The first goal is to conserve the native habitats of plants and wildlife species including forage fish, salmonids, and migratory birds. The second goal is to conserve the functions and native processes of the near shore ecosystem. The third is to maintain the territory, habitats, and species through education and opportunities for public involvement.

Law enforcement

DNR employs approximately 10 law enforcement officers who are located throughout the state. These officers patrol lands owned or managed by the DNR. DNR Officers are full-authority law enforcement officers while they are on DNR lands. Under state law DNR Officers are considered to be limited authority law enforcement officers since their state law enforcement authority is only applicable on lands owned by DNR. The majority of the County Sheriffs in Washington have commissioned all of their local DNR Officers as county deputies allowing them to act as a full authority law enforcement officer throughout the county, not only on DNR lands. DNR Officers are dispatched by the Washington State Patrol.


  1. Wilma, David (February 25, 2003). "Washington legislature creates the Department of Natural Resources in 1957". HistoryLink. Retrieved September 2, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links