FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2010
DNR sets July 28 hearing for Middle Fork Snoqualmie conservation area trust land exchange
Exchange between trusts would help create the 10,000-acre Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public hearing in North Bend on July 28 to receive public comments about a proposed exchange of lands between state trusts. If approved, several thousand acres would be positioned for a proposed future transfer to the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) in eastern King County.
The hearing will be held:
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
North Bend Railroad Depot
205 McClellan St.
North Bend, WA 98045
Designated as an NRCA last year by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, the Middle Fork Snoqualmie includes a river valley with important fish and wildlife habitat. The area will eventually conserve more than 10,000 acres of forestland between Mount Si NRCA and federal forests in the I-90 corridor.
Only Common School Trust property is eligible for transfer under the 2009-2011 Trust Land Transfer Program. Approximately 5,777 acres of the 9,001 acres proposed for transfer to the NRCA are currently Common School Trust land, which produces revenue for public school construction. About 3,224 acres within the NRCA are held by other state land trusts. DNR proposes to exchange those parcels with land of equal value that is held by the Common School Trust elsewhere. If the exchange is approved, the state parcels within the NRCA will consist only of Common School Trust land, making them eligible for transfer to the NRCA.
If the Board of Natural Resources approves, the property will be transferred to the NRCA and the Common School Trust will be reimbursed for its fair market value from legislatively approved funds. The timber value will be deposited into the Common School Construction Account to build schools for K-12 education, and the land value will be used to purchase new lands better suited for income production to support the Common School Trust.
The July 28 hearing will also accept public comments about a separate inter-trust exchange to make possible a future lease to King County of about 30 acres of trust land along Issaquah Hobart Rd SE. The County could use that land for the public uses of fish and wildlife habitat, recreation or open space.
Maps of the proposed transfer properties and additional descriptions will be available at the hearing and on the DNR website: www.dnr.wa.gov .
Other trusts involved in the proposed exchanges besides the Common School Trust are the Snohomish County State Forest Transfer Timber Reserve; King County State Forest Transfer; University-Transferred; Charitable, Educational, Penal and Reformatory Institutions (CEP&RI); CEP&RI-Transferred; Capitol Building; and Normal School trusts.
Comments welcome until August 4
Written comments about the exchange are welcomed and must be received by 4 p.m., Wednesday, August 4, 2010. Send comments to: DNR, Asset & Property Management Division, ATTN: TRUST LAND TRANSFER, Inter-Trust Exchanges No. 86-84803 (Middle Fork Snoqualmie) or 86-085762 (Issaquah Creek), MS Box 47014, Olympia, WA 98504-7014, or e-mail to: Trust_Land_Transfer@dnr.wa.gov .
Comments will be considered by DNR in developing the final exchange proposals. A summary of testimony along with the exchange proposals will be presented to the Board of Natural Resources at a regularly scheduled meeting.
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. DNR is administered by Peter Goldmark, the 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.
Media Contact: Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149 firstname.lastname@example.org
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