Green Diamond: Recreation Access Permit Program

forestGreen Diamond Resource Company officials announced plans to implement a Recreation Access Permit program on 23,000 acres of working forest land in Mason County, Wash.  The pilot program will start January 1, 2014. Permits will go on sale December 2, 2013.

Green Diamond will offer up to 180 motorized Recreation Access Permits to enter the Cloquallum/Goldsborough area of its ownership during 2014.  Motorized permits, at a cost of $250 annually, will allow permit holders, legally married spouses and children under 18 to enter the recreation area with their vehicle. Non-motorized permits, at an annual cost of $125 for a family or $75 for an individual, will allow holders to park outside the recreational area and walk, bicycle or ride a horse inside the locked area.  The area will closed to non-permit holders and security will be employed to enforce the limited access.
Public Affairs Manager Patti Case explained the reasons for implementing the program:  “As the population grows in Western Washington and other private and public landowners pursue fee programs, Green Diamond has seen increased use of its lands for recreation, to the point where some areas are suffering from effects of overuse,” she said.  “Green Diamond is launching this as a pilot program to offer higher quality recreation experiences for a smaller number of users, while making   investments towards protecting our lands and enhancing recreation opportunities.”
Other areas of Green Diamond ownership in Mason and Grays Harbor County will continue to be managed under Green Diamond’s current public access policy, allowing for year-round non-motorized access.  During recognized hunting seasons some gates on other Green Diamond property will be opened and green dots placed on signs, indicating the area is open for motorized vehicles.  “Depending on the success of the pilot program in 2014, we may expand the program in future years,” stated Case.
More information on Green Diamond’s Recreation Access Permit program, including maps and frequently asked questions, will be available via mail, phone or on the web starting on November 18 at:
Green Diamond Resource Company
Recreation Program
PO Box 9001
Shelton, WA 98584
(360) 426-3381
www.greendiamond.com/recreation
Permit applications will be available starting December 2, 2013 on the website or at Green Diamond’s offices, 215 North Third, Shelton, WA  98584, during business hours, 8-12 and 1-4 Monday through Friday except holidays.
November 11, 2013/Green Diamond Press Release

Comments  

#45 JD 2015-01-22 18:25
I recently relocated to the Skok Valley and couldn't believe the timber practices employed here. I have a graduate degree in fisheries and know a thing or two about hydrology. Some of the slopes that exceed 45 degrees have been clear cut. Most of the streams I've explored are clouded with silt, even when it hasn't rained. It's no wonder this valley floods. If this company wants to charge excessive access fees and expand them, so be it, but they should be accountable for the damage they're doing. When it comes to impacts on infrastructure, i.e., Skok Valley road flooding, they should be taxed, never mind the increases that should be assessed due to changes in land use status (re: recreation). Although I do not object to sound forestry practices and I support private property rights, what they're doing just doesn't seem right. I watched them clear cut a place this past fall where I'd been hearing tree frogs chirping, and the area fell silent after they were done.
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#44 Tom Davis 2014-09-19 19:04
PORT BLAKELY TREE FARM PRESS RELEASE:

Port Blakely Tree Farms is phasing out our Recreational Access Program, which offered purchasers exclusive recreational access to some of our forest parcels, including our Winston Creek block. While the program helped offset some of the expenses associated with public recreational access, we realized that excluding the public did not align with our long history of partnering with our neighbors and friends, trusting them to respect our forests and access policy.
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#43 SG1 2014-08-24 15:28
I hope Mason County follows suit in Grays Harbor Counties removing Green Diamonds tax breaks, done in turn for this new policy.

The disabled, low income already take it in the shorts with the Wildlife Departments refusal to lower fees unless your a vet, blind or are completely wheelchair bound. Now this increase malarky from the timber company with nothing for the disabled. The very limited vehicle permits have already sold out to the rich. I don't agree with it and will hunt as I normally do.
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#42 Belfair Herb 2014-08-24 13:36
Glad to hear that WDFW did not stock Stump Lake and hope they will never stock it again unless all of the public is allowed to fish there again.

As far as tax breaks go, their land is designated timber lands and they pay, I believe, only 10% of the going tax rate, however, when they harvest that land, they have to pay a harvesting tax that recoups at least a part of what they did not pay. Same rules apply to small private land owners who get that same tax break and don't allow any access.

As far as forst fires go, first things first, we must put out that fire with all available resources ASAP. DNR is the primary forest fire fighter and must repond to put it out. I believe though that they bill the landowner for the costs involved. If we let it burn and loose all that timber, our loggers would be out of a job and that would hurt their families and our economy. There is a property tax that we all pay to help DNR fight forest fires.....
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#41 Pacnwster 2014-08-24 12:59
Belfair Herb....I echo your sentiments exactly. I have monitored Stump Lake (now out of bounds to Joe public) and wdfw has not stocked it this year.
I also strongly believe that the reduced tax rate they enjoy should be raised to match the rate of the rest of us.
Also, I would hope that any fires that start on restricted property are not attended to by any fire service that is supported by our tax dollars....let it burn.
Only when Green Diamond realizes the negative financial impact of their actions will things change.
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#40 Belfair Herb 2014-08-24 12:22
I recently checked with Green Diamond and immagine, they still have permits available. There are only 180 available and people have not yet jumped at that opportunity to allow them access to their land in this area from Jan 1 to Dec 31. I hope that others like me will not purchase their permits so that they will get the message.

BTW, I was also told that this permit requirement will be extended to other Green Diamond lands next year! Will they ever learn? I think not.

Now we all have to contact our WDFW to make sure they no longer stock any lakes that are in these permit areas since they are no longer available to the general public. We can't use our tax dollars to only support a few privaleged foks who can afford it. Then the Deer and Elk management on these lands also needs to be evaluated. If the land is not accessible to ALL the public, the state should not spend any time or dollars managing the fish and game on those lands......
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#39 Tom Davis 2014-08-21 20:06
Thank you JDDH. I have lobbied lawmakers to revisit the legislation adopted in 1971 that exempts Green Diamond and other owners of designated timberland from paying their fair share of property taxes. I have not (but will, now) add the disability component to the issue of recreational permits on those lands. Also: You are right in your assertion that our county commissioners are far too keen on the interests of Green Diamond to think about the average citizen.
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#38 JDDH 2014-08-21 16:04
I am a disabled logger who was injured while working on Simpson/Green Diamond land. I am in my 50's and have hunted and fished on their properties my whole life. My disabilities do not allow me to walk great distances without the aid of a motorized vehicle. I have read through their (Green Diamond) access permit bullshit and they do not make any sort of allowances for handicapped hunters etc. When I was first injured I was approached by a Disability Acts Lawyer to join forces with other disabled persons against Simpson and other large Land Owner/Logging Companies who were making it impossible for disabled persons to enjoy the land. I refused because I had many family members and friends who worked for them. I think myself that we need 3 county commissioners who don't have their heads up their butts and aren't paid off by Green Diamond and make Green Diamond pay full property taxes on their land instead of taking it out of us little people who made them what they are to begin with.
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#37 Michael 2014-08-11 21:34
Well said Tom! What an absolute slap in the face to property owners in Mason County! Thanks a lot Commissioners and Green Diamond! Also, they state their concern is increased pressure? What they're creating, unlike many things around here lately, is a situation between the haves and the have nots. If you can afford the fee and are one of the "privileged" to gain access, you're golden. However, if the price tag is too steep, or you refuse to pay out of principle, you're forced into other properties now with even higher pressure. It's a complete scam from both Green Diamond AND our County Commission!
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#36 Tom Davis 2014-08-10 13:16
When a private interest owns almost 30% of the land mass in a county, their land use policies become a public concern. Average property owners (you and me) subsidize the generous tax exceptions enjoyed by Green Diamond through higher taxes on our own property. And what do we get for our money? Fewer jobs, no economic growth, and, now, costly permits just to take a walk in the woods. With the help of County Commissioners, Green Diamond has embarked on a succession of actions that will have a profound impact on the quality of our lives. Just ask the people out at Lake Nahwatzel.
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