February 3, 2009
Contact: Bob Redling, 360-902-1149
Board Approves Purchase of Working Forestland in Snohomish County
Board also approves major update of rules for recreation on public lands
OLYMPIA — The Board of Natural Resources today approved a $3.45 million purchase of a parcel of forestland in Snohomish County near Arlington. The 290-acre tract will add to the land managed statewide for the state’s Common School Trust which helps fund public school construction.
“This is another important step in our long-term effort to keep Washington’s prime forestland in production,” said Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands. As Commissioner, Goldmark chairs the Board of Natural Resources and leads the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“Not only does this purchase allow DNR to protect working forestland from conversion, it also puts us in a better position to continue managing nearby state lands for trust revenue, forest health, wildlife habitat, and public recreation,” said Goldmark.
The tract, which contains a mix of conifer and hardwood timber, was purchased from four private landowners for a negotiated price that reflects the land’s potential development value. The 290-acre site is gently sloped, has territorial views, and county road access, making it a likely prospect for conversion to home sites and other non-forestry development. The property is approximately 5 miles east of Arlington and borders a state trust land parcel known as the Jim Creek Forest Block.
The sellers were: Bear Creek Timber LLC, Cindy’s Cupcakes LLC, J. Jamaw LP, and the Flowson Trust. The state will also gain the owners’ mineral rights to the property.
The purchase reflects legislative direction that DNR use funds from land sales to purchase forestland at risk of conversion to other uses. The value of the 290-acre tract was determined by appraisal. DNR will manage the parcel for forest production revenue to the Common School Trust.
New rules for recreation on state trust lands approved
The Board today approved updated rules guiding recreation and public use of state trust lands, specifically Chapter 332-52 of the Washington Administrative Code.
The rules provide those using state trust lands with more specific guidelines for building safe campfires and clearer guidance for setting up campsites that won’t harm streams and rivers.
Over the past four years, the rule-making process for the recreation update has included many opportunities for public involvement, including public workshops, stakeholder meetings, focus groups, public review, comment on the draft language, and public hearings held across the state. An advisory committee established by DNR included representatives from several recreation groups, state agencies, and members of the recreating public. To see the final proposed draft language, go to www.dnr.wa.gov and enter “update on rule revision process” in the search box.
Updated and improved rules to guide behavior on DNR-managed lands are intended to provide a safer, more enjoyable experience for the public when they are on state trust lands.
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, and other state institutions;
• 2.6 million acres of aquatic lands; and
• 126,000 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.
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