Additional Conservation Land Approved

At its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, June 4, 2013, the Washington State Board of Natural Resources approved the transfer of 405 acres of state trust land on the Kitsap Peninsula to conservation status. The properties, approximately 12 miles northwest of Bremerton, will become part of the Stavis Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The parcels are part of an exceptionally high-quality example of the forest community once native to the Puget Sound Trough. These mature forest stands also contribute to salmon recovery efforts on the Kitsap Peninsula.

The funds to acquire the trust property for the NRCA are provided through legislative appropriations to the Trust Land Transfer (TLT) Program. Based on the value of standing timber on the properties, the Common School Trust will receive just over $1.26 million for public school construction projects statewide. The TLT Program also will provide $1.44 million – based on the parcel’s appraised land value – for DNR to purchase replacement lands more suitable for producing long-term revenue for the school construction trust. In the process of creating the transfer, the Board re-designated about 226 acres of working forestland elsewhere in the county for the State Forest Trust. DNR will manage those parcels to generate timber revenue for Kitsap County government services.

In other action, the Board approved a proposal for DNR and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Ltd., to exchange two 20-acre parcels near Paterson in Benton County. Trading the equal-valued parcels will assure that DNR has legal access to an adjoining parcel, which DNR manages for the Common School Trust.