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The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) plans to transfer ownership of a 70-acre parcel of land near Lake Cushman to Tacoma Power this year. The parcel, by the Mt. Rose community, is north of Divisions 2, 3 and 4 and west of Big Creek Campground.
As part of the legal agreement, Tacoma Power will:
· Only use the land for wildlife habitat, open space or recreation.
· Not be allowed to clear-cut the land (unlike the DNR, which has the right to do so on their property).
Tacoma Power has no immediate plans for recreational improvements on the land, so the parcel will remain managed for wildlife habitat for the foreseeable future. Tacoma Power will pay the DNR for fire protection on the land (as they do for their other lands).
Have there been land transfers at Lake Cushman before?
Yes - two other transfers from the DNR to Tacoma Power have occurred at Lake Cushman within the last decade:
1) Two 40-acre parcels just north of Skokomish Park.
2) 1,040 acres on the west side of Lake Cushman (which was established as wildlife habitat).
The transfer must still be approved by the Tacoma Public Utility Board and Tacoma City Council. With approval, the DNR hopes to have the land ready for transfer later this year. Tacoma Power will provide updates as the process moves forward.
Want to learn more? You’ll find additional information (including maps of the location) on the DNR website. You can also check out the DNR news release and the story KPLU did about this on March 7.
Questions? Contact Tacoma Power Wildlife & Lands Manager Bret Forrester at (253) 502-8782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.