Washington State Department of Natural Resources

04/02/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/02/2024 13:22

Board of Natural Resources Approves Expansion of Devils Lake Natural Resources Conservation Area

Board of Natural Resources Approves Expansion of Devils Lake Natural Resources Conservation Area
News Date:
April 2, 2024
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The Trust Land Transfer will add 443 acres of wildlife habitat, forested shoreline, and rare forest plant community to the existing NRCA in Jefferson County

The Washington State Board of Natural Resources approved a 443-acre expansion of the Devils Lake Natural Resources Conservation Area in Jefferson County through a Trust Land Transfer at its monthly meeting Tuesday.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources previously managed the property for the Common School Trust, which helps fund K-12 education statewide. However, it was inefficient to manage for timber harvest income due to steep, potentially unstable slopes. It will now be transferred into conservation status.
Proceeds garnered from the transfer of the parcel will be used to purchase replacement lands for future trust management.
The transfer will permanently protect 1 mile of scenic forested shoreline and steep slopes along Hood Canal, along with many protected biological and ecological species. The property is also home to a globally imperiled rare forest plant community that remains in healthy condition.
"We have a responsibility to ensure Washington state's public lands provide the greatest environmental, social, and economic good," said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. "This innovative Trust Land Transfer and expansion of the Devils Lake NRCA is just one example of how my agency is looking ahead to not only support kids by creating sustainable revenue sources for our schools, but also protecting and conserving vital ecosystems and critical habitats."
DNR generates more than $250 million each year through the management of trust lands, which support schools, colleges, and critical local services across Washington state. That revenue comes from sustainable forest management, agricultural leases, clean energy leases, and commercial real estate leases.
The Trust Land Transfer tool is designed to transfer lands that provide important ecological values or public benefits but don't produce enough revenue to support schools and local services across Washington state. DNR transfers these lands to public agencies for conservation or recreation purposes and then replaces them with lands better suited to generate money to support public services for generations to come.
Revitalization of the Trust Land Transfer tool was a major project of the 2021 Trust Land Performance Initiative, which focused on identifying tools to address underperforming land assets. This effort, funded in part by the Legislature, was designed to make the tool more consistent, transparent, repeatable, and effective.
For more information on the transfer, including photos and a map of the parcel, go to dnr.wa.gov/about/boards-and-councils/board-natural-resources.
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