FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2013
Board of Natural Resources authorizes new Teanaway Community Forest
State acquisition protects 50,000 acre watershed in Kittitas County
OLYMPIA – The Board of Natural Resources today gave its unanimous approval to the $97 million acquisition of 50,000 acres of forested watershed in Kittitas County. The Board also approved the designation of the property as the Teanaway Community Forest, making it the initial property to be managed under the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR’s) Community Forest Program.
“Today’s vote is great news for all who have worked so hard for years to protect and restore this cherished landscape for future generations to enjoy,” said Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands. “The Community Forest Trust program will prove to be a remarkable tool to protect Washington’s working forests from conversion, and support the communities that treasure the values they provide.”
The acquisition of the Teanaway property, located north of Cle Elum, was approved by the 2013 Legislature, which also appropriated $87 million for the purchase. Last month, the Board of Natural Resources approved a loan of $10 million from DNR’s Real Property Replacement Account to complete the purchase of the commercial timber property.
The creation of the Teanaway Community Forest is a key element in the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a long-planned project to increase water availability for agriculture, development, and instream flow for vital watershed habitats across the Yakima River Basin. The purchase also will protect habitat for threatened species, including the northern spotted owl, and safeguard public access for recreation on a cherished local landscape.
The Washington State Legislature directed DNR to manage the property as a Community Forest in consultation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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. More than half of these lands are held in trust and produce income to support public schools, universities, prisons, and other state institutions. Lands managed by DNR provide other public benefits, including outdoor recreation, habitat for native fish and wildlife, and watersheds for clean water.
Media Contact: Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149, firstname.lastname@example.org
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