The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

County to receive compensation for murrelet habitat

From the Department of Natural Resources


September 11, 2014

The state Board of Natural Resources on September 2 authorized the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to transfer about 66 acres of forestland, managed for the benefit of Pacific and Wahkiakum counties, into conservation status. The parcels were selected because each has timber harvest restrictions related to the endangered marbled murrelet.

“Today’s unanimous action by the Board of Natural Resources shows how the State Forest Trust Land Replacement Program is working to support struggling rural timber economies while protecting habitat for the marbled murrelet and other endangered species,” Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands, who chairs the Board of Natural Resources, said in a news release.

Wahkiakum County will receive $320,000, based on the timber value of 49 acres of State Forest Trust land, when it is transferred into the Skamokawa Creek NRCA. DNR will use the parcel’s land value of $73,000 to buy replacement working forestland for the county.

Julie Armbruster of the DNR's Asset Planning and Transactions Section said Tuesday that the total value of the property is $500,000; of that, $73,000 is the land value; the remainder is timber, which is split between DNR’s management account, 25 percent of the value, and the county, 75 percent. The $320,000 is Wahkiakum’s share and is what would be distributed if the trees were actually harvested.

Pacific County will receive $356,000, based on the timber value of about 17 acres of State Forest Trust land, when the parcel is transferred into the Naselle Highlands Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). The legislatively funded replacement program for state trust lands also will provide about $25,000 for DNR to purchase replacement working forestland better suited for producing revenue that supports county services.

Created in 2011 by the legislature, the State Forest Trust Land Replacement Program allows DNR to transfer certain state-owned forestlands that are encumbered by federal endangered species restrictions into conservation status and replace them with other working forestlands.

The replacement program targets small, economically stressed rural Washington counties that depend heavily on timber revenue to support public services.


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