DNR approves 78-acre east Pierce County conservation area

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) board Tuesday approved the transfer into conservation status of 78 acres of unique forestland bordering the Glacier View Wilderness area in eastern Pierce County. The parcel of state trust land is two miles northeast of the town of Ashford and includes old-growth forest between 400 and 600 years old that survived a wildfire several hundred years ago.

Funding for this transfer comes from the state’s Trust Land Transfer Program which provides a legislatively appropriated $1.1 million deposit — the value of the parcel’s timber — into the state’s public school construction account, according to DNR spokesperson Bob Redling. The value of the land in the transfer, about $50,000, will be used to buy more productive forestland for the Common School trust, which supports public school construction statewide.

DNR transfers lands into conservation status as Natural Resources Conservation Areas (NRCAs) when it is desirable to protect native plants and ecosystems. NRCAs are open to many low-impact activities such as hiking, bird watching or wildflower viewing.