OLYMPIA – June 19, 2015 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will consider the surplus and sale of a 31.4-acre parcel of property on the southeastern end of Squaxin Island to the Squaxin Island Tribe.
The Tribe owns a significant portion of Squaxin Island and aspires to own the remainder of the island property. The Tribe owns the tidelands, and the State Parks-owned uplands are not accessible to the public. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently negotiated a sale of all state trust lands on the island to the Tribe and has offered to help negotiate the sale of the State Park property.
Squaxin Island is in South Puget Sound near the heads of Totten, Eld and Budd inlets. State Parks acquired the upland acreage from the same seller in three separate transactions between 1961 and 1965, for a total of $66,500. In 1961, the Tribe began allowing public access over the tidelands. In the 1980s, State Parks received grants to construct a dock and to place moorage buoys at the site, and for several years, the location was popular with South Sound boaters. Annual visits ranged between 8,000 and 10,000, including day use and camping visitors. In 1993, the Tribe discontinued public access over the tidelands. The state property is no longer accessible to the public.
In 2005, the Squaxin Island property was determined by the Commission to be inconsistent with State Parks’ Centennial 2013 Vision and not advantageous for park uses, making it available for exchange or sale.
DNR officials offered to help facilitate the sale of remaining state property to the Tribe using appraised values agreed to between the Tribe and DNR in that agency’s recent trust land negotiation. The State Parks transaction would generate approximately $45,090 for the agency’s Parkland Acquisition Account.
The matter will be considered at the Commission’s next regular meeting July 23, in Poulsbo. No public hearing on the sale proposal is planned; however, questions and comments may be directed to Steve Hahn, real estate manager, (360) 902-8683 or via e-mail to Steve.Hahn@parks.wa.gov.
About Washington State ParksThe Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
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Media contacts: Steve Hahn, (360) 902-8683 Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562 Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388