OLYMPIA – At its monthly public today, the state Board of Natural Resources approved the purchase of 80.67 acres of forestland west of Lake Roesiger in Snohomish County from a private party. The acquisition borders a 2,845-acre working forest that the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) bought from a private developer last year. Both the purchase approved today and the large parcel purchased last year will be managed to provide revenue for public school construction, habitat, and clean water.
The purchase price approved today for the 80 acres is $448,000: $394,000 for the timber and $54,000 for the land. The purchase will be paid for from an account funded by previous land sales and dedicated to replacing trust land in the Common School Trust, which helps build public schools statewide.
Last year, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and Snohomish County officials signed an agreement to coordinate efforts in replanting trees, maintaining roads, and developing plans for future recreational uses on the 2,845-acre site. The Lake Roesiger area was once envisioned as a large, private residential and commercial development before backers cancelled the deal.
Butler Hill exchange in Skagit County
Also today, the Board approved a land exchange involving DNR and two private companies: Cougar Peak, LLC, and Sierra Pacific. DNR will obtain 239 acres of working forestland in eastern Skagit County in exchange for 139 acres of recently harvested forestland on Butler Hill –a developing area north of Sedro Woolley between Interstate 5 and State Highway 9. The values of the parcels that DNR will acquire and those it will trade out of are nearly the same – $494,000 and $493,000, respectively. Cougar Peak, LLC, will gain title to the 139 acres on Butler Hill after a separate exchange of cash and private land with Sierra Pacific. DNR will manage the 239 acres of former Sierra Pacific land it acquires to support Snohomish County public services.
DNR conducts land exchanges periodically to improve long-term natural resource revenue from lands it manages for public schools, counties, state universities and other public trust land beneficiaries.
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.