State Resources Board Approves Major Addition to Morning Star NRCA in Snohomish County
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State Resources Board Approves Major Addition to Morning Star NRCA in Snohomish County 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
March 16, 2012

State Natural Resources Board approves major addition to
Morning Star NRCA in Snohomish County
Transfer of acreage will put $14.8 million into public school construction
Board also approves statements on marbled murrelet conservation proposal

OLYMPIA – The state Board of Natural Resources today approved the transfer of 3,097 acres of forested state trust land in Snohomish County into the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). Today’s action will increase the scenic and popular hiking area, located 25 miles east of Everett, to nearly 30,000 acres.

“This transfer puts much-needed funds into the school construction account while adding to the footprint of a vital wildlife habitat and popular area for hiking and camping in Snohomish County,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.

The Common School Trust will be compensated in exchange for transferring the land from trust to conservation status. The funds will come from the 2011 Legislature’s appropriation to the state’s Trust Land Transfer (TLT) Program. Through the TLT program, $14.8 million – the value of timber on the land – will be used for public school construction statewide. The $3.5 million appraised value of the property will be used to purchase more productive forestland for the trust.

Direct transfer to Lewis County Cemetery District
The board also approved a direct transfer of 1.27 acres of DNR-managed state trust land west of Centralia to the Lewis County Cemetery District 3. The district plans to use the parcel for future expansion of the Doty/Dryad Cemetery. To complete the transfer, the Common School Trust will receive the parcel’s appraised value of $6,400 from the district.

Marbled murrelet statements approved
The Board today also approved a set of statements that describe the need, purpose and objectives for the development of a long-term Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy, as part of the State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan. The statements provide a starting point for the public scoping process, which will include opportunities for the public to comment as DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service jointly develop an Environmental Impact Statement. Information about the public scoping process can be found on DNR’s website or by contacting DNR’s SEPA Center: sepacenter@dnr.wa.gov

DNR manages state trust lands
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. Of these, more than half are held in trust to produce income to support public schools, universities, prisons, and other state institutions. These state trust lands managed by DNR provide other public benefits, including outdoor recreation, habitat for native fish and wildlife, and watersheds for clean water.

Web links and photos
Photo of the Morning Star NRCA addition:
www.flickr.com/photos/wastatednr/6988064387/in/photostream  

Marbled murrelet strategy scoping process:
www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Topics/TrustLandsHCP/Pages/lm_hcp_marbled_murrelet_main.aspx

Media Contact: Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149, bob.redling@dnr.wa.gov  

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