OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Nisqually Community Forest will add 2,200 acres of land purchased for $9.6 million, effectively doubling the protected forest’s size.
The Nisqually Indian Tribe and Nisqually Land Trust partnered to protect the land located west of Gifford Pinchot National Forest and north of the Nisqually Community Forest. The Tribe purchased 1,240 acres on the west side of the parcel while the land trust contributed 960 acres on the east side.
It's the largest transaction the land trust has undertaken since its founding 32 years ago and the first purchase of industrial timberlands by the tribe.
The Nisqually Community Forest project was launched in 2011 to support local ownership of Nisqually timberlands that would provide the watershed with forest products, create recreation, education and job opportunities and provide environmental benefits, according to the land trust.
The original goal was to create a working forest of 20,000 to 30,000 acres. After significant land purchases in 2018, the community forest – which the land trust says is the largest locally-owned one in Washington – sat at 1,920 acres.