Kitsap Forest and Bay Project

Forterra and partners are working to conserve 6,700 acres in north Kitsap County

The Kitsap Forest and Bay Project (KFBP) is a landscape-level effort to conserve 6,700 acres of forest land and 1.5 miles of shoreline surrounding Port Gamble Bay in north Kitsap County.

In February 2014, we reached a major milestone in the project with the purchase of the 535 acre Shoreline Property. Forterra and Pope Resources signed an agreement to protect the nearshore and forestland, and assigned our agreement to Kitsap County for management of this property as a local park. The property features 1.5 miles of shoreline along Port Gamble Bay and State Route 104.

In August 2013, Forterra signed a purchase and sale agreement with Pope Resources to acquire 366 acres of community forest and open space in north Kitsap County for permanent conservation.  The purchase expands North Kitsap Heritage Park to a total of 800 acres. It is expected to be conserved sometime in 2014.

A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

Kitsap County, Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Forterra, Great Peninsula Conservancy, several local and state agencies, and a coalition of business and community groups are working in partnership to create a comprehensive strategy to conserve the lands surrounding Port Gamble Bay for their economic, ecological, cultural and community values. The overall objective is to protect the landscape, preserve habitat values, protect cultural resources, and create opportunities for educational and low-impact recreation. Opportunities for conservation efforts on this scale in the Puget Sound basin are critical for protecting the vibrancy that makes our region a great place to live, work, and raise our families.

Conserving Great Lands

The property consists of five large tracts for conservation.

  • Maritime Forest – 3355 acres
  • Shoreline – 535 acres, including 1.5 miles of shoreline CONSERVED FEB 2014
  • Hansville – 1788 acres
  • Divide – 663 acres
  • Heritage Park Expansion– 366 acres

Port Gamble Bay is part of an important ecological system that supports species in Hood Canal and Central Puget Sound.  The property serves as a rich and productive nursery for endangered and threatened salmon species and critical stocks of forage fish, provides significant wintering habitat for ducks and other marine birds, and supports the food chain for marine mammals.

Creating Great Communities

The lands and waters of Port Gamble Bay provide fundamental cultural, spiritual and subsistence resources to the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Suquamish Tribes. The bay’s plentiful marine resources and protected waters have long been an important food source for native residents.

The bay also has a significant historical background in the Pacific Northwest.  One of the earliest and most important lumber-producing centers on the Pacific Coast was located at the mouth of Port Gamble Bay, serving as a critical component of the local economy for 150 years. 

If successful, we can look forward to spectacular forestland and shoreline that serves as a backbone to a regional land and water trail system, giving residents and visitors educational and recreation opportunities extending throughout the peninsula.  Preservation of the property for public use and enjoyment will enrich our citizens, support healthy lifestyles, sustain cultural traditions, and support commercial enterprises including a robust and growing eco-recreation industry. The Kitsap Forest & Bay Project has the potential to help shape the future of the Kitsap Peninsula.

For More Information

Contact Liz Johnston, Forterra Conservation Transactions Director
(206) 905-6925

Related Links

Olympic Property Group - It's Your Backyard
Pope Resources
Port Gamble S'Klallam

Kitsap Forest and Bay Coalition
Great Peninsula Conservancy
North Kitsap Trails Association