Natural Resources Board Meets in Olympia

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.

Washington Community Leaders Asked to Help Schools

Ladenburg says the city council, school board and parks department in Tacoma are working together to put more after-school activities in place for kids in Pierce County. She says they’d like to see more businesses willing to volunteer, especially with teens, to reinforce the skills they learn at school.

Diana Comfort, assistant director of child care for the Tacoma-Pierce County YMCA, says parents’ top priority is keeping their kids safe after school, but the programs also focus on health, physical fitness and learning. That has turned out to be a winning formula, she says.

"What new research is revealing is that kids in quality out-of-school programs are more engaged in learning, and achieve higher academic performance, standardized test performance, and homework completion – and grades!"

The Tacoma "Y" runs 47 programs in 10 school districts, and received a grant from Schools Out Washington to build more community involvement with kids. Grants were also given to the city of Shoreline, the YMCA in Snohomish County, the Northwest Learning and Achievement Group in Wapato, and the Martha and Mary Child Care Center in Poulsbo.