At its regular monthly public meeting this week, the Board of Natural Resources authorized the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase 1,720 acres of forestland north of the Quinault Indian Reservation on the western Olympic Peninsula. The $5.2 million purchase from The Nature Conservancy will be funded by the proceeds from previous sales and state-funded conservation transfers of under-productive trust lands.
“We’re grateful for the partnership with The Nature Conservancy in purchasing this land,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who chairs the board. “It will benefit future trust beneficiaries and our conservation commitments on the Olympic Peninsula.”
The new purchase will become part of the Olympic State Experimental Forest, which DNR manages under its Habitat Conservation Plan for timber revenue to trust land beneficiaries, including the Common School Trust. About $4 million of the site’s purchase price is represented by its standing timber, the majority of which will be ready for harvest in ten to twenty years.
Park land for eastern King County
The board today also authorized a $3.025 million direct transfer (sale) of just over 122 acres of forestland to King County to include in its Patterson Creek Park Natural Area. The site, located between Sammamish and Issaquah, is nearly surrounded by residential development. DNR will use the sale’s proceeds to purchase forestland better suited for producing revenue for the Common School Trust.
Trust land transfers in Klickitat and Thurston counties
The board also approved two transactions through the legislatively funded Trust Land Transfer program:
- Eight hundred and nineteen acres of forested Common School Trust property will be transferred to the Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). The property, which straddles the Yakima-Klickitat county line, is three miles north of Glenwood. The ecologically diverse area includes several rare plants identified as threatened and endangered. The $2.1 million provided by the Trust Land Transfer program for the parcel will support public school construction projects statewide and purchase replacement land better suited for producing natural resources revenue for the Common School Trust.
- Five hundred and forty-seven acres of forest and wetlands near the town of Elbe in Thurston County will be transferred to Tacoma Public Utilities. The property’s limited road access and isolation from other DNR-managed trust lands make it inefficient to manage for timber harvest revenue. The $4.68 million provided by the Trust Land Transfer program for the parcel will support public school construction projects statewide and purchase replacement land better suited for producing natural resources revenue for the Common School Trust.
DNR… caring for your natural resources
DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. More than half of these lands are held in trust and produce income to support public schools, county services, universities, prisons, and other state institutions. The Board of Natural Resources adopts broad-based policies and approves major commodity sales and all land transactions for state lands.