FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2010
State Board of Natural Resources approves land transfers in San Juan and Mason counties
Parcels include future addition to national historic park, county parks and additional state-owned tideland in Hood Canal
OLYMPIA – The state Board of Natural Resources today approved the direct transfer of 320 acres of Common School trust forestland to San Juan County for $3.1 million. The transfer will be paid for by a federal appropriation passed last year and sets the stage for the property to be included in the U. S. National Park Service’s San Juan Island National Historic Park.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration recognized the significance of the Mitchell Hill property and put a priority on helping to assure its continued preservation as a cultural and historic landmark,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.
The 320 acres of state trust land are adjacent to the English Camp unit of the federal historic park and include a 19th Century-era road used by British and American troops who jointly occupied the area until 1872.
The price was set after an appraisal determined the property had high value as a potential site for large-lot residences. With the $3.1 million it receives from the transfer, the state will purchase replacement property for the Common School trust elsewhere that is more suitable for natural resources revenue production to support public school construction in Washington State.
The property has been managed for the school trust by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Because of federal restrictions on direct purchases of land from states by the Park Service, the San Juan County Land Bank and The Conservation Fund, a private, non-profit corporation, partnered with DNR and the Park Service to facilitate the transaction.
Land transferred to Mason County and state aquatic resources
In another action today, the Board approved the transfer of seven acres of Common School Trust land to Mason County Parks for $81,000 via the state’s Trust Land Transfer (TLT) Program. Located along North Shore Road, adjacent to Menards Landing County Park, about 20 miles west of Belfair, the parcel will be used by Mason County as a recreation area and trailhead for hikers for future planned trails in the area.
“This property is an important addition to public recreation in Mason County because it will serve as a future trailhead for a planned trail connecting Menards Landing Park and Harvey Rendsland Park,” said John Keates, Mason County Parks Director.
The Board also approved the transfer of 26 acres of Common School Trust land adjoining Hood Canal for $860,000. The property will be managed as state-owned tidelands.
The TLT program will reimburse the Common School Trust for both properties. The trust uses the legislatively appropriated funds to fund school construction and replace lands (and any standing timber) that are transferred to other public agencies for open space, wildlife habitat, or recreation.
DNR managing land for trust beneficiaries
DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state land, including:
- 2.9 million acres of state trust lands that support public schools, universities, prisons, other state institutions, and county services;
- 2.6 million acres of aquatic lands; and
- 130,000 acres of Natural Areas and Natural Resource Conservation Areas.
Peter Goldmark is the 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889, and the first from Eastern Washington.
Media Contact: Bob Redling, senior communications manager, 360-902-1149, firstname.lastname@example.org