Ellensburg Daily Record: Kittitas County looking at forest trust

By Ellensburg Daily Record

June 1, 2012

Kittitas County might apply to the state Department of Natural Resources to formally designate 46,500 acres of American Forest Land Company holdings in the Teanaway area north of Cle Elum as a community forest trust.

County commissioners will meet about the application at 4 p.m. Monday in the commissioners’ Conference Room, part of Room 108 at the courthouse.

Jill Scheffer-Arango, senior managing director of the conservation department of the nonprofit conservation group Forterra, said various groups and agencies are supportive of the designation as preparation if and when the American Forest company lands are sold to the state as part of the integrated water enhancement plan for the Yakima River basin. Such a sale could be years in the future and is dependent upon government funding.

The designation would allow a collaborative, communitywide land-use model for managing the lands if they come into state ownership.

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