State transfers local forest into school trust
The state Board of Natural Resources approved a land transaction Tuesday that brings land in Skagit County into the Common School Trust program to provide timber revenue to public schools statewide.
The transaction was a land exchange that took two properties in Clallam County out of the Common School Trust program and brought about 212 acres of forest southeast of Mount Vernon into the program.
Those about 75 acres in Clallam County will be sold at auction in March, according to a state Department of Natural Resources news release.
The revenue from the properties being auctioned off will be used to purchase replacement trust lands.
The exchange is similar to an ongoing effort locally to make up for timber revenue lost when the popular Blanchard Mountain forest lands managed by Natural Resources was put into conservation status in 2018.
To make up for conserving the 1,600-acre core of Blanchard Mountain — where the popular Oyster Dome Trail and Samish Overlook are found — Natural Resources is working on another multi-part land transfer.
When complete, that transfer will make up for state trust land timber revenue that would have gone from the Blanchard forest toward public services in Skagit County, while ensuring no timber revenue is lost for schools statewide.