Port of Port Angeles to state: Allow highest volume of timber harvest

PORT ANGELES — Port of Port Angeles commissioners will urge the state Board of Natural Resources to pick a sustainable harvest calculation that allows Clallam County to recover lost revenue from unsold timber throughout the past decade.

On Monday, the board approved a statement urging the Board of Natural Resources to allow the highest volume of timber harvest in Clallam County out of five alternatives eyed by the state Department of Natural Resources.

The state is considering setting a new sustainable harvest level for the 2015 to 2024 planning decade for forested state trust land in Western Washington.

The proposal is for all forested state trust lands west of the Cascade Crest.

In the statement — from the port’s Timber Advisory Committee — the port urges the Board of Natural Resources to choose Alternative 2, which includes the highest volume of harvest and incorporates the arrearage volume of 702 million board feet to be harvested over five years, riparian thinning levels of up to 10 percent and a marbled murrelet conservation strategy that protects occupied sites.

The statement urges the state to anticipate harvest level shortfall.

“The other component is DNR has a historic pattern of not cutting what they say they are going to cut,” said Karen Goschen, executive director of the port. “We believe they will fall behind.”

When compared to the previous amount set in 2007, there would be a 9 percent increase in harvest volume in Clallam County if Alternative 2 is selected, according to the draft environmental impact statement for the proposals.

“We as a county have a right to ask to be singled out regardless of what happens,” said Connie Beauvais, commissioner.

The port has received on average $113,000 annually for the past 10 years.

The port estimates it lost $360,000 between 2005 and 2014 on lost timber receipts from arrearage, or timber that should have been harvested under guidelines but wasn’t.

Arrearage for all the taxing districts in Clallam County is estimated at $12.6 million from the combined sustainable harvest units of the Olympic Experimental State Forests lands and Clallam County lands.

The state is accepting comments on the proposals until 5 p.m. March 9.

To view the draft environmental impact statement visit http://www.dnr.wa.gov/shc.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.