By Mike Johnston
December 31, 2013
Kittitas County gained attention across the region this fall when the state purchased 50,000 acres of forest land in the Teanaway.
The purchase was one of the largest in the state’s history, and part of a 30-year, $5 billion project to stabilize water supplies and improve fish habitat in the Yakima River Basin.
The 2013 state Legislature agreed in late June to pay more than $99 million to buy the scenic Teanaway lands from American Forest Land Co.’s holding firm. The milestone was lauded as an unprecedented act of across-the-aisle political support of a wide number of often-conflicting interest groups.
The sale is part of a long-term water strategy called the Yakima Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan.
It aims to secure more dependable water resources, enhance fish habitat and improve water conservation in Kittitas, Yakima and Benton counties.