Forterra Protects Union River Forestland with Conservation Easement

NORTH KITSAP -- On Dec 30, 2011, Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy) purchased a conservation easement on 255 acres of working forestland along the headwaters and tributaries of the Union and Tahuya rivers in Kitsap and Mason Counties. The conservation of this land, owned by Pope Resources, will help protect water quality in the Hood Canal Watershed with resultant benefits for a number of fish species, such as summer chum, coho, chinook, and steelhead salmon.

The $547,000 purchase was funded by a $480,000 Salmon and Recovery Funding Board grant and by a $67,000 in-kind value contribution by Pope Resources. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) and the Hood Canal Coordinating Council (HCCC) provided integral support for the success of the easement purchase.

The conservation easement allows Pope Resources to continue harvesting the timber on these lands, but prevents commercial and residential development in perpetuity. In addition, Forterra purchased expanded no-cut buffers along the rivers and tributaries to further protect sensitive riparian forestland. The protection of the land helps both salmon and water quality because forestry activities will occur further away from the important water resources.

“This conservation easement is a victory for Forterra, the Olympic Peninsula and the health of the Hood Canal Watershed,” said Gene Duvernoy, Forterra president. “It also marks our forward progress with the implementation of the Olympic Agenda, our long-range action plan to build strong economies and healthy communities and conserve great lands on the Peninsula. Our success in working with Pope Resources on this and other recent projects is proof that our big-tent approach, working with a broad range of partners, garners important results.”

“Pope Resources is delighted to again work with Forterra on protecting water quality on sensitive lands,” said David Nunes, President and CEO.  “We have been operating in this region for over 150 years and are committed to stewardship excellence. We will continue to put energy into such conservation efforts with partners such as Forterra, as evidenced by the 20,000 acres we have committed to conservation in the last 15 years.”

This conservation easement complements Forterra’s and the WA Department of Natural Resource’s 2009 Forest Legacy purchase of development rights from Pope Resources on an adjacent 2,290 acres. With conservation easements on both properties, the beneficial impacts on water quality and wildlife habitat are amplified.

Forterra will celebrate the success of this conservation easement at its February 2 event at Shelton’s Colonial House. Pope Resources, RCO and HCCC will all be honored for their roles in bringing this important conservation easement to fruition.

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About Pope Resources

Pope Resources, a publicly traded limited partnership, and its subsidiaries Olympic Resource Management and Olympic Property Group, own or manage 178,000 acres of timberland and development property in Washington and Oregon.  We also manage, co-invest in, and consolidate three timberland investment funds that we manage for a fee.  In addition, we offer our forestry consulting and timberland investment management services to third-party owners and managers of timberland in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.  The company and its predecessor companies have owned and managed timberlands and development properties for more than 150 years.  Additional information on the company can be found at www.poperesources.com. 

About Forterra

Forterra fills a unique and important niche as the largest conservation and community building organization dedicated solely to this region. As a national leader, Forterra is shaping a future that will flourish environmentally and economically. We partner with thousands of leaders and residents across the region to create healthy, livable and prosperous communities. For over 20 years, Forterra has led efforts to conserve more than 173,000 acres of forests, farms, shorelines, parks and natural areas and restore critical landscapes. More at www.forterra.org.