Port of Grays Harbor looks to buy NewWood facility from receivership

ELMA, Wash. – A sale of the mothballed NewWood facility at the Satsop Business Park could be on the horizon again, this time with a lot more public money involved. Exact details will be discussed at a public meeting 9 o’clock Tuesday morning at the Port Commissioners’ meeting room in Aberdeen.
Manager at the Satsop Business Park Alissa Shay tells us “On Tuesday we will be recommending to the Port commissioners that the Port of Grays Harbor purchase the assets of the New Wood Corporation from the receiver, we are also proposing that we sign a letter of intent with a company to operate the facility.”
The building turns wood waste and recycled plastic into a composite wood, and has yet to see a fruitful market despite efforts by Office Max, Boise Cascade and the previous owners, at full steam the mill employs as many as 150. Shay said it’s all a bit complicated and will be explained in detail at the special meeting.
The Montesano Vidette has a full article available for subscribers on their website,  or check next week’s edition with an update from the meeting.

Westport to Receive Ecology Funds to Prevent Flood Damage

The cities and counties will use the money for various purposes such as acquiring flood-prone properties, install water-tight access lids to prevent stormwater infiltration into local sewer systems, and remove levees to improve flood protection and restore natural stream functions.


"The recent catastrophic floods we experienced in 2007 and earlier this year highlight how critical it is to get these funds out to our local communities," said Gordon White, who oversees Ecology’s statewide shoreline and environmental assistance activities.

Ecology is giving awards for the following local projects:


  • Yakima County – $220,000 to remove the Boise-Cascade levee and acquire the DelaPaz property which has suffered repeated flood damage.
  • Lewis County – $200,000 to elevate homes in the Chehalis River floodplain.
  • Skagit County – $200,000 to help pay for a flood-protection study for the Skagit basin.
  • Sultan (Snohomish County) – $150,000 to acquire and demolish homes and structures that have suffered repetitive flood damage.
  • Wilkeson (Pierce County) – $150,000 to restore and stabilize stream banks along Wilson Creek.
  • Westport (Grays Harbor County) – $125,000 for a system-wide flood damage prevention project.
  • Ellensburg (Kittitas County) – $80,000 to modify the Reecer Creek levee.
  • Pullman (Whitman County) – $75,000 to improve the channel for Missouri Flat Creek.
  • Connell (Franklin County) – $50,000 to clear sediment out of the Esquatzel-Coulee channel.
  • Orting (Pierce County) – $50,000 to prevent backflows from the outfalls draining to the Puyallup River.
  • Colville (Stevens County) – $25,000 to construct a stormwater retention facility at McDonald Park.
  • East Wenatchee (Douglas County) – $25,000 for a culvert enhancement project located at Canyon A and Eastmont Avenue.

In all, 38 communities submitted applications for 41 projects worth $18 million. Ecology, however, only had $1.35 million for state assistance.

Commissioner Goldmark appoints two deputy supervisors

The appointments make permanent their previous role as “acting” deputy supervisors through this transitional period in the new Goldmark administration. Sprague and Turley each have experience working in multiple program areas and parts of the state for DNR. Sprague, a 29-year veteran of DNR, will have management responsibility for the Asset Management & Recreation, Engineering & General Services, Land Management, and Product Sales & Leasing divisions. He will also oversee the Department’s Chief Appraiser and Law Enforcement offices. “I’m pleased to be part of Commissioner Goldmark’s leadership team and am excited to help bring the management of this state’s trust lands into the 21st century, including expanding opportunities in renewable energy and ecosystem services,” said Sprague. “I believe my long history and experience with the DNR positions me well to help the commissioner achieve his goals and best serve the people of the state.” Sprague completed his Bachelor of Science degree in forest management with an emphasis in Wildlife Habitat from Washington State University and holds a Master of Forest Resources degree in regional planning and resource policy from the University of Washington. Having served as an assistant region manager for land management and assistant division manager in land transactions, Sprague has a diversity of experience at the management level. He has also been charged with implementing a habitat conservation plan for 1.8 million acres of state trust lands and led the project team charged with developing sustainable forest policies for the Board of Natural Resources. Before his temporary appointment, Sprague served as a senior policy advisor. Turley, a 17-year veteran of DNR, will become the new deputy supervisor of regulatory programs and have his acting assignment as State Forester become permanent. His management responsibilities will include the Forest Practices, Resource Protection, and Geology & Earth Resources divisions. He will also oversee the Department’s Environmental Review & Analysis office.  “I am very excited to be part of the leadership of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and look forward to helping it realize its mission of sustainable management of our natural resources,” said Turley. “I am ready for the challenge of managing through these tough budgetary times.” Turley holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife management and conservation and a secondary teaching certification from Southwest Missouri State University and attended a graduate program in raptor biology at Boise State University.  Among other duties at DNR, Turley has led survey efforts for spotted owls, served as a member of the Forest Practices Board’s Scientific Advisory Group for marbled murrelet rule-making and before his temporary assignment, he most recently held the position of assistant division manager for policy and services in the Forest Practices Division. Turley has been an active participant in with DNR’s wildfire program for eight years, most recently serving as a public information officer on one of Washington’s Interagency Incident Management Teams. Each new deputy supervisor will earn $103,000 per year. When Commissioner Goldmark took office, he restructured Executive Management by replacing four supervisors with one department supervisor and three deputy supervisors, and eliminating 11 funded exempt positions. The restructuring, coupled with reduced salaries for DNR’s leadership team, will save the Department over $600,000 in the next biennium. DNR: Managing your public resourcesDNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state land: §  2.9 million acres of trust lands, including forest, range, agricultural land, and commercial properties that earn revenue to build public schools, universities, prisons, and other state institutions, and help fund Westside county services.§  2.6 million acres of ‘aquatic’ lands: the bedlands under Puget Sound and the coast, many beaches, and navigable natural lakes and rivers.§  130,000 acres of natural areas that protect rare and threatened species, as well as high-quality examples of the native ecosystems and landscapes of Washington.