Access to some private timber lands no longer free

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Access to private timberlands will again be an issue for hunters in Southwest Washington this year

Rayonier has a new hunting permit program for 46,000 acres near Grays River in Pacific County. The company has sold 175 permits to enter its 31,000-acre Fossil Creek area through Dec. 31 for a flat $225. Hunters could also bid for 30 entry permits to the company’s 15,000-acre Salmon Creek area.

The company is still allowing free public access on more than 25,000 acres in Pacific County, however.

For more information, see rayonierhuntingpermits.com.

Another new development this year is a charge for public access to state lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources.

DNR manages land between the north and south forks of the Toutle, and at several locations in the Lewis River Valley and Columbia River Gorge. The agency has erected signs telling where the permit is required.

A pass is required for each street-legal vehicle, and can’t be transferred from one to another.

A daily Discover Pass costs $10, with a $30 charge for an annual pass.

For information and a map of where the pass is required, see www.discoverpass.wa.gov

The Department of Fish and Wildlife recently hired a new employee whose job is to work with private landowners in Southwest Washington to maintain public access.

“That holds great promise for the future,” said Pat Miller, a WDFW biologist.

The major private timber owners in Southwest Washington have phone numbers for information on access:

  • Weyerhaeuser’s St. Helens Tree Farm hot line, 866-636-6531.

  • Ryderwood Tree Farm owned by Sierra Pacific, 360-736-5417, ext. 500.

  • Hancock Forest Management Cathlamet Tree Farm, 360-795-3653.

  • Longview Timber Corp., 442-7619.