The Methow Valley Ranger District is proposing to exchange or sell 8.5 acres of National Forest System lands and acquire 13.1 acres of private lands in four areas in the district.
The properties are in Early Winters, the Patterson Lake/Wolf Creek vicinity, Twisp River and Gold Creek.
Proposed actions are as follows:
• Early Winters: 2.3 acres of forest land would be exchanged for 5 acres of private land. The parcels are on opposite sides of Highway 20.
• Patterson Lake/Wolf Creek: 0.9 acres would be sold to the adjacent landowner.
• Twisp River: 1.2 acres near Little Bridge Creek would be sold to the adjacent landowner.
• Gold Creek: 4.1 acres bisecting five private parcels would be sold and/or exchanged for 8.1 acres of private land. Three narrow strips of forest lands, a total of 1.3 acres, would be sold to adjacent landowners.
The district found that the sale or exchange of these lands would be in the public interest because it would improve management of the lands. On Gold Creek, the improvements would benefit steelhead and bull trout habitat.
Other exchanges would establish a more manageable boundary between private and public lands. They would also increase efficiency by disposing of narrow strips of land acquired more than a century ago for access but currently not needed, according to the ranger district.
The actions wouldn’t alter public access to the forest lands because the lands are either considered private or are blocked from most public access by adjacent private-land ownership.
The Gold Creek, Twisp River and Early Winters parcels contain some timber. The Patterson Lake area is shrub-steppe. The private parcels proposed for exchange in Gold Creek provide important fish habitat, according to the ranger district. Some of the lands have specific designations, such as riparian or late-successional reserve.
Each action would occur pending private landowner approval and satisfactory settlement of land values.
The public can comment on the proposal to project lead Meg Trebon at firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug. 1.
More information is available from Trebon at 996-4032 or Methow Valley District Ranger Chris Furr at 996-4027 or email@example.com.