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News / Clark County News

State buys Clark County forestland burned in 2022 Nakia Creek Fire

By Shari Phiel, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 7, 2023, 5:58am

The Washington State Board of Natural Resources has approved the purchase of 640 acres of forestland in Clark County to add to the Yacolt Burn State Forest. The purchase was approved during the board’s Tuesday meeting in Olympia.

The parcel, which cost $855,000, was purchased with the proceeds of prior land sales. It is currently an inholding within the Larch Block, the westernmost portion of the Yacolt Burn State Forest.

In a Tuesday press release, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said the land purchase will make the area more efficient to manage and eliminate the need to obtain road-use permits before beginning timber harvests.

About 75 percent of the purchased land burned during the Nakia Creek Fire in October. After the purchase is complete, DNR will invest $115,000 into reforesting the burned-over portions of the property. The Nakia Creek Fire burned 1,918 acres of land in Clark County, much of the land was within DNR’s Larch Block.

The parcel will be put into the department’s land bank, where it will be held until it is designated, at a later date, to support a specific trust.

The land bank is essentially a holding area for desirable properties acquired by DNR waiting to become trust lands and former trust lands waiting to be sold.

Since 1980, DNR has added more than 100,000 acres of forestland to public ownership through its transactions program.