* Washington State Department of Natural Resources *
Columbia Land Trust * Pope Resources * Skamania County
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 30, 2010
Mount St. Helens forest conserved
Conservation easement purchased for more than 6,886 acres of working forestland
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Pope Resources and Columbia Land Trust jointly announced today the purchase of a conservation easement from Pope Resources on nearly 6,900 acres of forestland on the southern flanks of Mount St. Helens. The easement protects the property from conversion to non-forest uses, such as residential development.
The conservation easement was purchased by DNR with funds from the federal Forest Legacy Program. The easement is on land that surrounds Swift Reservoir in Skamania County, Washington, and is adjacent to state trust land managed by DNR. The $2.4 million purchase will restrict future development on the private property while allowing for the continued growth and harvest of timber.
“Protecting our working land base means that this land will continue to contribute to the economy and provide clean water and wildlife habitat,” said Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands, who also administers DNR.
The conservation easement sale represents the culmination of several years of coordinated effort between Columbia Land Trust, Pope Resources, Skamania County, and DNR. It is part of a broader initiative by the Land Trust to eventually protect 20,000 acres of forest in the area from development pressure.
“Our forests are rich with benefits for people and wildlife. That we all profit from conserving working forest is made clear by this unusual and effective partnership of a private timber company, a rural county and a conservation group. This is an inspiring and significant first phase protecting land surrounded by a national and state forest in the shadow of Mount St. Helens,” said Glenn Lamb, Executive Director, Columbia Land Trust
The Pope forestland and surrounding public and private forests are highly prized by local residents for jobs and conservation attributes. The area is a popular destination because of its proximity to Mount St. Helens, abundant recreational opportunities, and rich habitat for wildlife such as elk, spotted owl, and endangered bull trout.
“Through the strategic use of creativity and cooperation this partnership will preserve working forests with this and other actions, while at the same creating economic opportunities elsewhere in our holdings. It is rewarding to see historically competing interests find the common ground in which everyone wins,” said Jon Rose, president of Olympic Property Group, a Pope Resources Company.
Skamania County is a rural county in southwest Washington with a population of just over 10,000. Most of its land base is in public ownership. The Pope forestland is the largest private ownership in the county.
“This project is good for all concerned as it protects working forest from development, produces a steady supply of timber for industry and contributes to the conservation of productive healthy forestland in perpetuity,” Paul J. Pearce, Skamania County Commissioner.
The parties would also like to thank US Forest Capital, LLC who assisted the Trust in originating and financing this transaction.
The federal Forest Legacy program is dedicated to keeping forests from converting to other uses, such as home sites. The program helps protect water quality, provide habitat and forest products, opportunities for recreation and other public benefits.
Photo and map
The direct link to a scenic view of land included in the easement is: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/SiteCollectionImages/Promotional/em_image_nr10_12_30.jpg
The direct link to a map of the area is: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/SiteCollectionImages/Promotional/em_map_nr10_12_30.jpg
About Columbia Land Trust
Columbia Land Trust is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to conserving and caring for vital lands, waters, and wildlife of the Columbia River region. The Land Trust conserves lands in both Oregon and Washington, from the east side of the Cascades to the Pacific Ocean. For more information, visit the Trust’s website: www.columbialandtrust.org. The Land Trust retains US Forest Capital, LLC, of Portland, Oregon, as an advisor on its Working Forest Initiative and forest transactions.
About Pope Resources
Pope Resources is a publicly traded limited partnership. Its subsidiaries Olympic Resource Management and Olympic Property Group own or manage 178,000 acres of timberland and development property in Washington and Oregon. The company and its predecessor companies have owned and managed timberlands and development properties for more than 150 years. Additional information on the company, its forestry consulting and timberland investment management services can be found at www.poperesources.com .
DNR manages about 3 million acres of state-owned trust lands for revenue to trust beneficiaries including public schools, universities and public services in several counties. The agency also manages about 2.6 million acres of aquatic lands, including the bedlands under Puget Sound. Peter Goldmark is Washington’s 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.
About US Forest Capital
US Forest Capital (www.usforestcapital.com) is an advisory firm that manages transactions, arranges financing, creates governance structures and resolves natural resource, public policy and communications challenges on behalf of forestland owners and buyers. These projects have helped conserve nearly 110,000 acres of private working forestland worth nearly $117 million.
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Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149, Bob.Redling@dnr.wa.gov
Columbia Land Trust: Cherie Kearney, Forestry Initiative Manager, 360-608-8131, email@example.com
Glenn Lamb, Executive Director, 360-606-6071, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pope Resources: Jon Rose, 360-509-0631 (mobile), email@example.com
Skamania County: Commissioner Paul Pearce, 360 607-7388 (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org