Stemilt land transfer adds 1,275 acres to wildlife area near Wenatchee
News Date: 
January 4, 2017

Additional action by Board of Natural Resources will protect forestland in King County from development

At its regular monthly meeting yesterday, the state Board of Natural Resources authorized the transfer of 1,275 acres of mixed forest and grassland in Chelan County to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Located about 10 miles south of Wenatchee, the acreage is a popular spot for year-round outdoor recreation including snowmobiling, hiking and hunting.
“This transfer will assure continued protection for a central Washington landscape treasured by many for its wildlife, water supplies and bountiful recreational opportunities,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.
“This action by the board will enable WDFW to protect habitat used by many species in the Stemilt Basin,” said Jim Brown, WDFW’s regional director for north-central Washington. “We are pleased to participate in the Stemilt Partnership and especially happy to work with the local community on a project that has such broad public support. The DNR staff also deserves thanks for their efforts.”
Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which has managed the land for revenue to build public schools, will use the transfer’s proceeds — $1.95 million from the state wildlife agency — to purchase replacement property elsewhere in the state that is more suitable for producing school construction revenue. In 2013, the board authorized a similar-sized transfer of school trust property, also in the Stemilt-Squilchuck watershed, to WDFW.

King County acquisition will retain working forest, add open space and recreation opportunities 

The board yesterday also authorized DNR to complete an $875,000 purchase of 31 acres of private forestland for the school trust in partnership with King County. The Mitchell Hill transfer parcel, which adjoins a larger block of DNR-managed trust land, is located north of Preston in eastern King County. DNR will contribute $280,000 to the purchase based on the appraised values of the land and its timber. King County will contribute $595,000 to purchase development rights from the willing seller of the property.

Chehalis-Oxbow transfer 

In another action by the board yesterday, about 30 acres of timber located in the floodplain of the Chehalis River in Grays Harbor County will be transferred to the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis River. Trees of marketable size on the three parcels included in the transfer are in riparian zones and cannot be harvested for school construction revenue. DNR will use the $30,000 received in the transfer to purchase income-producing replacement property for the school trust elsewhere in the state.

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.
Bob Redling
Public Information Officer