Prime irrigated agriculture parcel for lease in Benton County
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Prime irrigated agriculture parcel for lease in Benton County 
 


MEDIA ADVISORY

July 9, 2012

Prime irrigated agriculture parcel for lease in Benton County
Sealed bid public lease auction August 14

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public auction to lease a 3,358.6-acre parcel for irrigated agriculture production. The land is located just 5.5 miles from Paterson, in Benton County, and is prime ground for irrigated row, orchard and vineyard crops.

Pre-auction tour of lease property July 12
A tour for those potentially interested in bidding will be held on July 12. They are to call (509) 925-0912 for details and to hold a spot at the tour.

Opportunity for proposal on combination of agricultural crops

What:Sealed bid public auction to lease 3,358.6 acres of state trust lands known as the Sandpiper parcel
When:August 14, 2012 at 2:00 p.m., PDT
Where:   Southeast Region Office in Ellensburg, 713 Bowers Road  

Details:

 


Sealed bids (including proposed cash bonus bids) must be received no later than 2:00 p.m. on August 14, 2012. The proposed lease authorizes the bidder to propose any combination of irrigated agriculture crops—perennial or annually cropped. Successful bidder will be responsible for future agriculture development and water system costs.
Complete information and lease documents are on DNR’s ‘Leasing State Trust Lands for Agriculture’ webpage.

Currently the site has several hundred acres planted in hybrid poplar. All but 214 acres of trees will be removed by Greenwood Resources within 18 months.

Acquiring replacement property for school trust
DNR finalized the purchase of the 3,300-acre parcel in Benton County in May of this year. The property, which adjoins other trust lands managed by DNR, includes water rights and irrigation systems. The seller of the property was Sandpiper Tree Farm, LLC.

Acquisition funds came from a land replacement account for the Common School Trust, to replace trust properties that had been sold at public auction to private parties or transferred to public agencies—lands that were more difficult to manage, less productive or less likely to provide long-term revenue to the public schools. As replacement trust properties, DNR acquires working forests, agricultural or other natural resource lands.

Steward of the state’s trust lands
The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), led by the Commissioner of Public Lands, manages 5 million acres of state-owned lands.

Of these, 3 million acres are state trust lands that provide revenue for specific beneficiaries and benefits for the public. Most of the trust lands were granted at statehood. Revenue helps fund construction of the state’s public schools and universities, and contributes funds to services in many counties and the state general fund. Revenue-producing activities include harvest of timber and forest products, leasing of agricultural lands (orchards, vineyards, row crops, dryland crops, and grazing), and other land leases. In addition to earning income, trust lands help protect habitat for native plant and animal species, clean and abundant water, and offer public recreation and education opportunities statewide.

More than 85 percent of state trust lands in agricultural production are Common School Trust lands that help build kindergarten through 12th grade public schools statewide.  

Peter Goldmark is the 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.


Media Contact: Jane Chavey, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1721 jane.chavey@dnr.wa.gov

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DNR Communications & Outreach Office
360-902-1016
dnrnews@dnr.wa.gov

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