Five parcels in Okanogan County, a total of 480 acres — but none in the Methow Valley — will be considered next week by the Washington Board of Natural Resources in exchange with recently purchased property that will generate income for the state’s land trust. Four of the parcels are west of Okanogan and one is near Tonasket.
Seven other parcels near Twisp — 490 acres in all — that the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) originally considered for transfer to the state land bank have been removed from the proposal while DNR reviews other options and opportunities, the agency said. DNR agreed to look at other options after an extensive public comment about the value of the lands for recreation and wildlife habitat. Virtually all commenters opposed any change in the status of the land.
In addition to the Okanogan County parcels, the board will consider the transfer of 311 acres in Skagit County, 13 in Spokane County, 7 in Benton County and 5 in Klickitat County.
DNR earmarks land for transfer when it’s considered no longer suitable for the land trust. Unsuitable properties don’t produce revenue and are often isolated parcels with no public access, according to the agency.
DNR manages 3 million acres of state trust lands to produce non-tax revenue for public schools and other institutions.
The board will meet by teleconference at 9 a.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 5). The public can provide comment at the start of the meeting. To register or listen, go to https://www.dnr.wa.gov/about/boards-and-councils/board-natural-resources.