Department of Natural Resources Transaction Recognized as Timberland Deal of the Year
News Date: 
July 3, 2024

Industry publication “The Land Report” celebrates DNR’s commitment to conservation in a recent article

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proud to announce that it has received The Land Report's "Timberland Deal of the Year" award for its exceptional work on the Deep River Woods transaction.
Deep River Woods, encompassing over 20,000 acres of prime timberland in Wahkiakum County, faced potential division and development before DNR’s purchase. Partnering with The Conservation Fund, DNR secured the acquisition of all 20,505 acres from Manulife Investment Management for $121 million. This landmark deal marks the largest land acquisition by the state in over a decade.
"The Deep River Woods transaction exemplifies our commitment to preserving Washington state's natural resources for future generations," said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. "This acquisition not only expands our capacity for sustainable forestry but also underscores our dedication to maintaining the economic vitality and ecological integrity of our landscapes."
The acquisition was structured through a partnership where DNR acquired 9,115 acres for $55 million, while The Conservation Fund purchased the remaining 11,390 acres for $66 million. This collaborative effort will preserve a vital timberland ecosystem and reinforce the economic foundation of local communities dependent on the forest products industry.
The transaction, facilitated by LandVest on behalf of Manulife, represented a complex yet successful negotiation that balanced conservation interests, economic development, and community sustainability.
Deep River Woods is expected to continue as a working forest, contributing significantly to Washington’s timber industry and supporting local communities through sustainable land management practices.
Ryan Rodruck
Communications Manager
Cell: 360-584-3916