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Public’s turn with forest proposal

1:12 pm October 9th, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public hearing Thursday in Ashford – and keep accepting comments most of October – on a plan to designate 80 acres of nearby old-growth forest as a natural resources conservation area.

The area would be transferred from its current status as common school trust land that generates income for public schools through timber sales. DNR would use the proceeds from the transfer to purchase replacement trust land with higher revenue-producing potential, officials said.

The hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Fire District 23 station on State Route 706. In addition, written comments can be submitted until Oct. 25 by postal mail to Kelly Heinz at Washington State Department of Natural Resources, South Puget Sound Region, 950 Farman Ave. N., Enumclaw, WA 98022, or by e-mail to kelly.heintz@dnr.wa.gov.

Trees including Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar, mostly ranging in age from 140 to 220 years old but some estimated to be 400 to 600 years old, are on the acreage proposed for natural resources conservation status. The property is within a larger area protected by conservation easements managed by Nisqually Land Trust.

DNR manages 31 natural resources conservation areas around the state.

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