DNR issues logging permit for private property in Kingston

KINGSTON — The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has approved a Forest Practices Application permit for the logging of 105 acres of private property off Seatter Road.

Richard W. Stokes owns the property, which is broken into a 30-acre plot on one side of Seatter and a 75 acre-plot on the other side. Locals know the area as Roller Coaster Road.

The acreage does have five acres of wetland, which will be protected by a 100-foot buffer, as required by the DNR. Four different streams are on the acreage and will also be protected by DNR requirements.

Bruce McDonald, Forest Practices manager for the South Puget Sound Region, said the acreage can be cut so only 50 trees per acre are left.

“Basically it’s going to look like a clear-cut, that’s what I imagine it to be,” he said. “They’re going to leave some trees scattered.”

The permit states Stokes will replant the land with douglas fir.

McDonald said the Pacific Northwest is the “best douglas fir region in the world,” and mature trees can grow within 35 to 40 years.

“It’s the land owner’s choice to do what they want with the land as long as there are no environmental restrictions,” McDonald said. “It’s a tough line to walk with public outcry and what a land owner can do.”

It’s not known when or if logging will take place.

Stokes returned a phone call to say, “I won’t grant an interview.”

McDonald said the permit is good for two years and if no logging takes place renewal is an option.

The South Puget Sound Region consists of Mason, Kitsap, King and Pierce counties. McDonald said the department receives 700 to 1,100 logging permits on an annual basis and 90 to 95 percent are approved after a few tweaks and adjustments.

Small forest land owners, similar to Stokes, own 3.2 million acres of Washington’s forests, accounting for about half the private forest land in the state. The majority of small forest land owners live in Kitsap and Mason counties, McDonald said.

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