A Word from our Board Chair & CEO

In 2022 Forterra delivered on its mission to contribute to the well-being of our communities, support restoration and stewardship, return land to Tribes and persist with landscape-scale strategies that require decades of effort to achieve success. Donors like you made these accomplishments possible.

Forterra Works to Ensure People & NAture Thrive Together.

In 2022, Forterra protected and stewarded important lands across our region. Examples of these projects range from landscape-scale efforts to address flooding in the Chehalis Basin, protecting the historic home of one of our state’s most important Black leaders, revitalizing a beloved youth camp and preserving a family farm that produces food we can all enjoy. 

Forterra supports stewardship of the natural landscapes we rely on.

Through Forterra’s historic role launching a regional Riparian Restoration Program, 14 Green City Partnerships and the Snohomish County Healthy Forest Project, we have tested and vetted replicable programs to empower communities, create efficiencies and gather partners. In 2022, Forterra transitioned out of our on-the-ground role and sought feedback on how we could help address barriers to advancing restoration efforts across the region. Highlights from this year include:

Green City Partnerships restore and care for our urban parks and forests. They empower people to be agents of change in their neighborhoods, help conserve open space and enhance community resilience in the face of climate change. In turn, these spaces provide safe access to nature, clean air and a habitat for plants and animals to thrive.



Together with our partners, Forterra hosted volunteer events benefiting more than two million people in 15 communities across our region in 2022, stretching from Snohomish County and Everett, all the way to SeaTac and Tacoma. Going forward, Forterra is shifting our role, with particular focus on recruiting resources to fill gaps identified by our partners.

A volunteer plants a treeEvergreen Carbon Capture (ECC) provides a local option to address climate change through native tree planting. Forterra plants and maintains ECC trees for carbon sequestration in cities and rural lands throughout Western Washington. Tree planting is part of our comprehensive habitat restoration efforts, so these actions not only mitigate carbon impacts but also help develop healthy, resilient forested parks and natural areas for future generations.


In 2022 we planted 3,478 trees at eight sites, which will sequester at least 17,390 tons of carbon during their lifetimes.  

Blitz and a volunteer doing restoration workDelta Air Lines and the Seattle Seahawks lent a helping hand in protecting urban forests on the team’s day of service.


Volunteers, including Seahawk newcomers Charles Cross, Dareke Young and Shamarious Gilmore gathered at North SeaTac Park to move mulch and plant trees. Delta and the Seahawks also awarded an honorary game ball to a forest steward volunteer in recognition for her dedication in restoring this urban forest. 


Thank you to the City of SeaTac, Delta Airlines and the Seahawks for their hard work and partnership in this event. 

Forterra is committed to working in cooperation with sovereign Tribes.

From our earliest days Forterra has sought out shared conservation objectives with sovereign Tribes, frequently seeking guidance and transferring numerous properties to Tribes for long-term stewardship. Ensuring Tribal access to ancestral lands is important for sustaining Indigenous cultures and ensuring the ecological health of our region.  


Last fall, the Snoqualmie Tribe criticized how we approached our work with them on a large grant application. We investigated what happened and acknowledged that we made mistakes. We took accountability and immediately made changes, including implementing new internal systems, processes, and trainings to improve our work going forward. 

Index, WA

Throughout our history, Forterra has had the privilege of working alongside the Tulalip Tribes to conserve and restore valuable river habitat in Snohomish County. In 2019, Forterra received a bequest of a half-acre lot on the North Fork Skykomish River. Then in 2022, we transferred the beautiful, forested shoreline parcel to the Tulalip Tribes, providing both protection for the property and important cultural access. 

Snoqualmie Tree Farm King County

Titicaed Creek

Forterra worked over several years to raise funds to acquire 156 acres of high elevation old growth near the headwaters of Titicaed Creek. This property is adjacent to the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe’s recently acquired Ancestral Forest. Appreciating the unique relationship of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe with this landscape, Forterra returned the property to Tribal ownership in the summer of 2022.  

At Forterra, we see things through.

Landscape-scale success takes time and persistence. Sometimes we achieve a really big win quickly, but more often we work through smaller, incremental steps, that eventually we can achieve the grand vision that originally inspired people. Examples of Forterra’s progress towards realizing long-term, landscape-scale goals in 2022 include projects at Hancock Creek, the North Shore of Grays Harbor, Amon Creek, and Port Gamble. 

Hancock Creek

Forterra has closed six acquisitions at Hancock Creek, preserving 696 acres of old growth and mature forest, riparian and alpine lake frontage, and talus slopes. Including our 40-acre transaction in 2022, we have now transferred 540 of those acres to the Washington Department of Natural Resources to become part of the Mt. Si Natural Resource Conservation Area.

North Shore Grays Harbor

Forterra’s Estuary Program has completed 41 acquisitions conserving 7,800 acres of coastal, estuarine and maritime terrestrial ecosystems essential to waterfowl migrating along the Pacific Flyway. Over the past 20 years, with support from the Wildlife Forever Fund and public grants, our strategy has been to patiently assemble extensive blocks of land ownership 

Amon Creek

The Tapteal Greenway, a local volunteer group, has been conserving the Amon Creek Natural Preserve near Richland since 2001. In 2022, Forterra bolstered the dedicated stewardship of local volunteers by reuniting ownership of mineral rights for approximately 72 acres into Tapteal Greenway’s ownership. Forterra’s attention to detail and followthrough help ensure that the Greenway will never be at risk of mineral extraction. 

Port Gamble

For the last decade, Forterra has organized a coalition of agencies, 30 partners, the Suquamish Tribe and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe to secure 3,900 acres of land for recreation, cultural heritage and habitat. In 2022, the coalition came back together to add protections to trees within the park.  

To view Forterra’s audited financial statement for FY2022, please click here

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Letter from Our Board Chair and CEO

For 34 years, Forterra’s successes have come through partnerships where diverse interests unite a variety of approaches, expertise and resources to benefit our community. Together, we protect forests, farms, habitat and community places that make this a great place to live. In 2022, hundreds of volunteers and donors invested in Forterra’s mission to secure what we all love about the PNW.  


2022 was a year of inspiration and challenge for Forterra. Forterra’s Mass Timber Modular Prototype won national recognition and was featured at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. – contributing to the national dialogue on how to increase the availability, speed of production and affordability of housing. At the same time, increases in interest rates and the supply chain crisis compelled us to pivot away from directly launching the Darrington Wood Innovation Center into a support role. Economic forces also impacted the efforts of the Forterra’s Strong Communities Funds to build housing from mass timber in Tukwila and Tacoma. As pressures mounted, Forterra also grappled with feedback about how the organization’s high aspirations and past culture may have contributed to the challenges.  


In 2022 we lived our commitment to listen, learn and adjust to achieve the organization’s mission. Last fall and continuing into this year, we intensely reviewed our engagement with Tribes and partners. We restructured our projects. We strengthened our systems, processes and culture – including clearer policies on how we work with partners and sovereign Tribes. Forterra’s Board established a People and Culture Committee and, after more than a year of hard work, Forterra reached agreement on a first contract with our 8-person employee bargaining unit represented by OPEIU Local 8. We are committed to infuse our learnings into the way we work. 


Despite the challenges of the past eighteen months, we remain committed to our vision of Forest to Home. We continue to promote the triple-bottom line of affordable housing, responsible forest management and economic development through production of sustainable wood products and mass timber in Washington. We continue to believe in the opportunity to serve our community and address social equity through the Strong Communities Fund projects. Forterra thanks the Tribes and partners who stand with us, providing guidance, support and encouragement to continue our work. 


Even as we worked through challenges, we had an impactful year. Forterra successfully conserved 1,188 acres in 10 transactions worth over $8M across the region, ensuring these properties will benefit us all for generations to come. Our 2022 accomplishments include: 


  • Adding protection to 80,000 trees that would otherwise have been clear-cut in the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park in Kitsap County. 
  • Investing in the health and well-being of our communities, including acquisition of the Nettie Asberry House in Tacoma, preservation of Camp Kilworth in Federal Way and conserving Amon Creek in Richland.  
  • Together with our Green City Partners, we hosted volunteer events benefiting more than two million people in 15 communities across our region stretching from Snohomish County and Everett to SeaTac and Tacoma.  
  • Through Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture (ECC) program, we planted 3,478 trees at eight sites, which will sequester at least 17,390 tons of carbon during their lifetimes.  

Throughout our history, Forterra has completed 266 projects conserving 275,000 acres, and contributing to state-wide policies and regional landscape restoration. Forterra’s work is as critical now as it was 34 years ago. We will continue to innovate and scale land-based solutions to address the climate crisis and support equitable, green and prosperous communities.


Thank you for joining us. 



Michelle Connor

President & CEO

Chehalis Basin

At nearly two million acres, the Chehalis River Basin is the second-largest watershed in Washington. In 2007, a 500-year flood hit the Chehalis Basin area, cutting off I-5 for days, impacting the state’s economy, the environment and everyone who resides in the area.  

Forterra is one of many organizations that stepped in to address these challenges. We’re still here, helping with a strategy to reduce flood damage and restore critical habitat for salmon.

  • Along the Wynoochee River near Montesano, Forterra worked with a landowner to move their house out of harm’s way after extreme flooding damaged their home and limited access to their property. Forterra worked for three years to find an approach that was a win-win, allowing the property owner to stay on their property and to permanently conserve and restore 26 acres of riparian and floodplain habitat.  
  • After five years of work, Forterra completed the transfer of the 28-acre Wishkah Garden property to the Chehalis Basin Land Trust for long-term stewardship. The property encompasses Wyman Creek and lies adjacent to the Wishkah River, offering a rich diversity of salmon habitat. The property is home to several species, including juvenile fall Chinook, coho and chum.  

Camp Kilworth

Home to one of our region’s few youth camps and sheltering critical salmon rearing habitat, the camp was closed and almost lost to development. Forterra recognized the cost of losing this lifeline to the natural world was too high. People like you recognized the cost to their community, too.


Locals formed the Kilworth Environmental Education Preserve to make their voices heard, and Forterra listened. We purchased the property in 2022 to fulfill the community’s goals and worked hard to create a partnership with the YMCA, granting a 50-year lease to provide youth programming for the region. Together, we are working to restore Camp Kilworth so it can once again promote health and well-being, as well as education accessible for everyone. The YMCA is working to re-open the camp next summer for kids, the community and for Tribal use.  

Nettie Asberry House

Nettie J. Asberry was a civil rights icon and Black leader in Tacoma’s Hilltop until her death in 1968. She cemented her legacy in Tacoma through a lifetime of service to Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood and its residents. Her impact is tied to her home, located on 13th Street, now 130 years old. It was in this home that Dr. Asberry taught music and Black history to youth and she founded the Tacoma CWC, and the first NAACP Chapter west of the Rockies. 


Funding from donors like you allows Forterra to take on projects that require many years to accomplish. Due to your support, Forterra was able to work for over two years to help the CWC purchase Dr. Asberry’s home in 2022. Together, the CWC and Forterra preserved a unique place where the community can learn about one of our region’s most important Black leaders.  

Franz Farm

Our work touches all parts of the PNW – urban, rural and wild. In 2022, we permanently protected from development more than 100 acres of forest and high-quality farmland with prime agricultural soils near the agrarian community of Roy. The property has been a family farm since 1890, primarily producing livestock, silage and hay. It’s currently leased by a rancher raising Hereford beef cattle.  


Forterra protected the farm from future development by negotiating and purchasing a conservation easement legally limiting future uses of the property. Purchasing conservation easements allow a current farmer to realize the potential development value of the property while voluntarily choosing to keep the property in farming forever. Conservation easements also bring the future price of a farm down to where a next-generation farmer can afford to buy it and keep producing local food that we all can enjoy.  

Hancock Creek

Located along the western rim of the Cascades, close enough to the Salish Sea for endangered marble murrelet to make a round trip back with food for nestlings hidden high in the branches of windswept old growth, Hancock Creek is a PNW gem. This 400-acre natural area features a stretch of Hancock Creek and majestic Pacific silver fir, mountain hemlock and other mature trees essential for nesting murrelets as well as northern spotted owls.  

It’s safe to say protecting Hancock Creek has been a top priority. Sustaining donor support over the decades has allowed Forterra to foster a relationship with the owners of Hancock Creek. Forterra first approached the family in 1996 to explore a conservation strategy. In 2014, the family at last agreed to grant Forterra the opportunity to systematically raise funds with the aim of conserving these rare mountain inholdings that have sheltered old growth forest over generations of family ownership.  


Since that time Forterra has closed six acquisitions with these landowners, preserving 696 acres of old growth and mature forest, riparian and alpine lake frontage, and talus slopes. With our latest, 40-acre transaction in 2022 we have now transferred 540 of those acres to the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to become part of the Mt. Si Natural Resource Conservation Area (NRCA). We’re still here, too: Forterra is currently working to secure timber rights for an additional 80 acres of land we purchased from the family in 2019, which will then also become part of the Mt. Si NRCA. In addition to irreplaceable old growth forest, these projects consolidate some of the last private inholdings in the Mt. Si NRCA and surrounding Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest into conservation. 

Port Gamble

The sustained effort to conserve Port Gamble Forest is another great example of people coming together for the best possible outcomes. Over more than a decade Forterra organized a coalition of agencies, 30 partners, the Suquamish Tribe and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe to secure 3,900 acres of land for recreation, cultural heritage and habitat. In 2022, the coalition came back together to add protections to trees within the park. 


With the support of 450 donors, the community raised $500,000 in just 11 weeks, contributing critical funds to help Kitsap County purchase 756 acres of timber rights within Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park. These contributions helped conserve an additional 80,000 trees that would otherwise have been clear-cut. Safeguarding mature timber provides meaningful cultural value for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and the Suquamish Tribe. In addition, maintaining tree canopy enhances a regional recreational destination for hikers, birders, mountain bikers and equestrians. 

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