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County Agrees To Request Land Exchange

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By Mike Curtiss
KGMI radio

The council voted 5 to 2 last night to send a letter to the Department of Natural Resources formally requesting approval of the land exchange.

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. -- The Whatcom County Council is moving forward with plans to exchange 8700 acres of public forest lands in the Lake Whatcom Watershed into the county's hands.

The council voted 5 to 2 last night to send a letter to the Department of Natural Resources formally requesting approval of the land exchange.

The plan would stop DNR from logging in the area, and turn it into county-run parkland.

In the letter, the council affirms that DNR's habitat conservation plan on the land would continue, and that the Mount Baker School District will be fairly compensated for lost timber revenue.

Charles Burley, acting superintendent of the Mount Baker School District, says the county can move forward with the exchange assured that students in the district will also benefit.

The plan has been in the works since 2007, but last year the DNR said it needed the formal request before it could take action to complete the exchange.

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