With work in conservation, public policy, stewardship and community development, we’re making positive impacts on water quality, climate change, animal habitat, economic development, community building and much more. 

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Puget Sound
Climate Change
Working Lands
Community Building

Puget Sound: The Link Between Healthy Rural Lands and a Healthy Sound

Stormwater runoff is the primary cause of pollution in Puget Sound.  As residential and commercial development sprawls into our rural areas, forests and farms are lost and the amount of impervious surfaces such as roads, roofs and parking lots increases.  Rainwater picks up more and more chemicals that empty into storm drains and eventually into Puget Sound.

Anderson Marine Park

Anderson Marine Park By Nicole Waltersdorf

The loss of our upland forests and working farmland to development has a direct and detrimental impact on the health of Puget Sound. With our region’s population slated to double over the next 100 years, growth and development are inevitable. But where and how we build will be the difference between the continued decline of Puget Sound’s health and a sustainable healthy future for our region. 
Forterra’s urban policy work is dedicated to creating the dense, livable, high-quality communities that attract residents, preventing the loss of rural lands to sprawl. We are using market-based tools to fund the infrastructure improvements necessary to create the cities in which we want to live.

Climate Change

Global climate change has become one of the most pressing issues of our time.  If we do not significantly reduce human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, there will likely be considerable impacts to the treasured forests, waterways, fish and wildlife of the Puget Sound region.  We are fortunate in the Pacific Northwest to have so many people and organizations that care about our earth and its ecosystems.  Citizens are working every day across the region to minimize human impacts on climate change, and help us live in closer harmony with the places we love. 

A Local Solution
Forterra is helping address this problem by partnering with individuals and local businesses to mitigate their carbon footprint through urban forest restoration. Forterra’s Green City Partnerships are community-based stewardship projects that restore urban forests through removing invasive plants, replanting native shrubs and trees, and monitoring the areas. 

Forterra’s Carbon Mitigation Program allows individuals and local businesses to invest in the restoration of acres in five cities across the region.  The cost to mitigate your carbon is comprised of the base field costs, such as invasive removal, site preparation, plant and planting materials, irrigation, and other maintenance necessary to ensure plant establishment and survival. 


Protecting animal habitat is a critical function of Forterra’s conservation work. Wildlife play an invaluable role in our ecosystems, one that will be lost if we do not work to save and restore the forests, riparian zones, rivers and more in which they live.

From the conservation of estuaries on the Olympic Peninsula to restoration of important waterways like the Cedar, Stillaguamish and Yakima rivers, Forterra is working across Washington to restore and protect essential habitat for ecologically, environmentally and culturally significant fish such as the federally-listed Chinook, Coho, Chum, Cutthroat and Steelhead salmon along with other species such as Blue Ribbon trout.

Like our work with streams, rivers and estuaries, our conservation and restoration of forests around the state have played an active role in saving habitat for bear, elk, migrating birds, raptors, foxes and many more. In addition, Forterra is advancing innovative projects like the I-90 wildlife bridges which help migrating animals safely cross the busy I-90 interstate.

Working Lands

Stillaguamish Barn

Stillaguamish Barn By Joe Sambataro

Forterra has always recognized the irreplaceable value of our region’s working lands. We rely on farms and forests for our food, fiber, lumber and more. Farming and sustainable forestry are valuable direct and indirect economic drivers that provide jobs and goods that help move us forward.

It is with that in mind that we’ve outlined our ambitious, but attainable goal of conserving 1 million acres of working lands in the region over the next 100 years. We’re accomplishing our goal with traditional conservation techniques such as land purchases and gifts as well as with innovative tools that allow landowners to realize the development value of their land while still retaining the right to work it.

Community Building

It is because of the people across Washington that we work to conserve lands, build stronger more sustainable economies and re-imagine the great communities in which we live. Our Green Cities Partnerships bring people together to restore the urban forests in their communities. Our community gardens programs help ensure everyone has the access to fresh food they want and need. Our urban policy efforts center around building the attractive, dense, livable communities in which the people of Washington want to live, shop, work, play and raise their families.