QUILCENE — The state will buy 1,310 acres of working forest near Dabob Bay.
The state Board of Natural Resources approved the $3.96 million purchase Tuesday.
Jefferson County will receive $65,000 as compensation for lost tax revenue.
The state Department of Natural Resources will purchase the land from Ecotrust Forest Management, an Oregon forest investment management and advisory services company.
No recreational uses for the forest are planned, according to Bob Redling, DNR spokesman, although the public will be allowed to enter it.
The state expects to manage the forest for future revenue for the Common School Trust, which provides funding for K-12 school construction.
Known as the Mount Walker acquisition, it does not actually include Mount Walker.
The forested land lies along U.S. Highway 101, and much of it is between the highway and Dabob Bay.
The property is roughly square, with one corner sitting along Dabob Bay at the mouth to Quilcene Bay.
The majority of the property consists of maturing timber 30 to 45 years old that DNR expects will be ready for harvest in 10 to 20 years.
Funds for the purchase came from the sale of various other DNR trust lands that were not expected to produce long-term revenue for the school trust.
“This purchase is important for wildlife habitat, clean water and long-term sustainable income to build public schools statewide,” said Peter Goldmark, commissioner of public lands.
Redling said no specific wildlife habitats are involved, although the land will come under DNR’s habitat conservation plan.
DNR already manages much of the forest land in the Dabob Bay area, he added.
Reporter Mark Swanson can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5054, or at [email protected]