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The legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(1) Over half of the private forest and woodland acreage in Washington is owned by landowners with less than five thousand acres who are not in the business of industrial handling or processing of timber products.
(2) Nonindustrial forests and woodlands are absorbing more demands and impacts on timber, fish, wildlife, water, recreation, and aesthetic resources, due to population growth and a shrinking commercial forestland base.
(3) Nonindustrial forests and woodlands provide valuable habitat for many of the state's numerous fish, wildlife, and plant species, including some threatened and endangered species, and many habitats can be protected and improved through knowledgeable forest resource stewardship.
(4) Providing for long-term stewardship of nonindustrial forests and woodlands in growth areas and rural areas is an important factor in maintaining Washington's special character and quality of life.
(5) In order to encourage and maintain nonindustrial forests and woodlands for their present and future benefit to all citizens, Washington's nonindustrial forest and woodland owners' long-term commitments to stewardship of forest resources must be recognized and supported by the citizens of Washington state.
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