COYLE — A state proposal to expand the Dabob Bay Natural Area Preserve up to 3,200 acres has Jefferson County leaders and conservationists working toward a land swap to offset the loss of state timber trust land revenues.
North Olympic Peninsula timber-industry interests oppose the state Department of Natural Resources proposal, saying it threatens their ability to harvest timber and produce revenues toward the county’s junior taxing districts that support fire protection and schools.
Remote Dabob Bay is known for its salt marsh estuaries, marine riparian shorelines and the oysters that grow in its clean waters deeply embedded between Toandos Peninsula and the Olympic Mountains.
The pristine bay is at the heart of the state’s largest concentration of oyster farms along Hood Canal. It is to a great extent why Washington state today leads the nation in oyster producers.
Shellfish growers have joined with conservation groups and Jefferson County elected officials to work with Resources in an effort to protect the bay.
They support Resources’ proposal, which would dramatically expand the existing 195-acre Dabob Bay Natural Area Preserve.