OLYMPIA, Wash. - At its regular monthly meeting today, the state Board of Natural Resources approved a proposal by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to offer for harvest an estimated $15.6 million worth of timber from selected state trust lands at public auction in May. The approved amount represents the combined minimum acceptable bids for 12 proposed timber sales.
The sales will be offered at auction the last week of May at an average price of $241 per thousand board feet. The board, which represents beneficiaries of state trust lands such as public schools, counties and state universities, also reviewed the results of auctions completed in March, which brought in $9.4 million to the trusts.
The proposed auctions approved today are for opportunities to harvest timber from state trust lands in Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Kitsap, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom counties. A list of the locations and other details for each sale is on the DNR website at www.dnr.wa.gov
In other action today, the board approved transfers of mineral rights for two parcels of former state trust land now owned by federal agencies. One was to the National Park Service for 320 acres it manages on San Juan Island adjacent to English Camp National Historic Park. The other was to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for a 391-acre parcel it will hold in trust on the Kitsap Peninsula near Poulsbo for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.
During testimony prior to the board action Tribal Chairman Jeromy Sullivan encouraged the board to approve the transaction, noting that it was important to the tribe and its tribal sovereignty to own the combined surface and mineral rights.
Both parcels were Common School Trust lands and the proceeds from their sale or transfer will be used to acquire more productive lands for long-term revenue to the trust. Revenue from Common School Trust supports construction of K-12 schools. The federal agencies asked for mineral rights ownership after acquiring the lands even though neither property contains any known minerals of value.