PORT ANGELES — Clallam and Jefferson counties are receiving $8.9 million in state recreation and conservation grants to preserve and expand recreational opportunities and protect water habitats and farmland, state officials announced this week.
They include $2 million for the Spruce Railroad Trail in Clallam County, $1.5 million for replacing flood-prone campsites along the Dosewallips River in Jefferson County, $1.4 million for a bluffside trail in Port Angeles and $150,000 for safety and noise-abatement improvements at the Jefferson County Sportsmen’s Association’s shooting range.
Clallam County received $5.2 million and Jefferson County $3.7 million as part of $126 million in grants awarded statewide, the state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board announced Tuesday.
With the state Legislature’s approval of a capital budget earlier this year, the grants are being distributed to cities, counties state and federal agencies, tribal governments and nonprofit organizations.
• Spruce Railroad Trail improvements, $2 million
The last 2 miles on the 1918 Spruce Railroad grade between the McFee and Daley-Rankin Tunnels will be built in a $4.2 million project, which includes $2.2 million in federal funds, cash and a private grant as a county Public Works match.
The 8-foot-wide trail will include a new bridge at the Daley-Rankin Tunnel as part of the grant from the state Wildlife and Recreation Program.
The 4-mile trail also will be extended .2 miles into the Lyre River ravine.
Completion is scheduled for September 2021.
• Olympic Discovery Trail, $1.4 million
The $2 million project, including a $600,000 city of Port Angeles match, will fill a gap in the Olympic Discovery Trail in Port Angeles by developing .75 miles of trail just north of Hill Street, up a marine bluff to Crown Park west of downtown.
A viewpoint also will be developed as part of the grant from the state Wildlife and Recreation Program.
“It’s going to have great views and connect to a city view,” city Assistant Planner Ben Braudrick said.
Hill Street does not have a curb and is dangerous for pedestrians, he said.
“It’s going to create a lot more convenience for the entire west side of town,” Braudrick added.
Completion of the Hill Street bluff portion of a three-phase ODT improvement project in Port Angeles is slated for 2021-2022.
• Buying boat launch at Mason’s Olson Resort in Sekiu, $1 million
The Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to buy about 6.5 acres from Mason’s Olson Resort in Sekiu.
The land includes a four-lane boat launch, boat trailer parking and two additional overflow parking areas away from the main launching site.
This launch accommodates all sizes of trailerable boats at most tides, giving recreational boaters access to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This grant is from the Boating Facilities Program.
For the complete story on this grant and plans involved, see the story in the PDN’s sports section.
• Sequim-Dungeness Valley farmland, $560,000
The North Olympic Land Trust will buy a conservation easement to protect 104 acres of farmland on Towne Road as part of a $1.1 million project. It includes $560,000 from the trust to purchase the easement from a private landowner.
“The land is at significant risk of being converted to residential development, with successful subdivisions adjacent and at least 11 building sites, according to a recent development analysis, the state Recreation and Conservation Office said in the awards announcement.
“All but one building right will be extinguished with the conservation easement.”
The grant was awarded by the state Wildlife and Recreation Program.
• Maintenance of off-road vehicle trails and trailheads, $198,000
The state Department of Natural Resources will maintain 36 miles in the foothills and Sadie Creek trail system west of Port Angeles.
The DNR match for the state Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicles Activities Program grant is $132,000 for a total project cost of $330,000.
The project will ensure “safe and sustainable [off-road vehicle] recreation trails and facilities,” according to the Recreation and Conservation Office’s project description.
• Jefferson County Sportsmen’s Association, $150,000
The group will control noise and improve safety at its 100-yard range on Gun Club Road in Port Townsend west of state Highway 20.
The association will contribute $86,000 in cash, equipment, labor and materials to match the grant from the Firearms and Archery Range Recreation Program.
The group will install two noise abatement and errant-projectile control stalls, lighting and fans.
• Dosewallips State Park campsites relocation, $1.5 million
The state Parks and Recreation Commission, which is providing a $225,000 match for the $1.7 million project, will replace 29 standard, flood-prone campsites along the Dosewallips River with 14 year-round utility campsites with RV water and electric hookups.
The total number of 126 campsites at the 1,064-acre park will be reduced to 111 campsites. Utility sites will increase to 89.
Annual attendance includes roughly 50,000 campers and 500,000 day-use visitors, Lisa Lantz, stewardship program manager for the state Parks and Recreation Commission, said Wednesday in an email.
A restroom also will be added with eight toilets and four showers as part of the state Wildlife and Recreation Program award.
The project is part of a salmon habitat restoration effort in partnership with the Wild Fish Conservancy.
• The Nature Conservancy, purchase of Hoh River habitat, $1.5 million
The Conservancy will buy 1,080 acres in the Hoh River watershed, preserving 30 miles of riverside habitat stretching from Olympic National Park to the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
The organization will match the state Wildlife and Recreation Program award with a $1.5 million grant, managing the land to restore old-growth forest and salmon and bull trout habitat recovery and preserve access for recreational uses.
One of the three parcels being purchased is 932 acres from a land owner at a proposed cost of $2.46 million.
• Expansion of Dabob Bay Natural Area along the Hood Canal, $579,000
The state Department of Natural Resources will buy 164 acres of shoreline and forest land including spits, bluffs and shorelines, with the state Wildlife and Recreation Program award.
Protection of the Dabob Bay Natural Area Preserve will be enhanced, as will educational and research opportunities, the Recreation and Conservation Office said.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].