Forest and Streams Protected in Union River Area

Another 255 acres of prime forestland near Tiger and Mission lakes will be protected from development under a conservation easement purchased with $480,000 in state funds. The Kitsap Sun reports the land lies in the headwaters of the Union River and includes sensitive wetlands and forest habitats along upper Bear, Courtney and Hazel creeks. The land is adjacent to an area where funding from the U.S. Forest Service purchased development rights on 2,300 acres of forestland in 2009 in a program called “Forest Legacy.” The latest transaction was completed by Forterra, Formerly known as Cascade Land Conservancy, and property owner Pope Resources last Friday, just hours before the expiration of a $550,000 grant from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. The grant needed a 15% local match which was provided by Pope Resources donating $67,000 worth of land and Forterra providing stewardship work on the property. The conservation easement will allow Pope Resources or its successors to continue harvesting timber in the area under state logging rules but stream buffers will be expanded to 180 feet to help protect water quality and quantity.