Kitsap Forest and Bay Project

Working with partners to conserve 6,700 acres of land and 1.5 miles of shoreline in North Kitsap County.

Shoreline at Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park
Photo by Don Willott

Project Overview

The Kitsap Forest & Bay Project (KFBP) is a landscape-level effort to conserve up to 6,700 acres of forest, wetlands and shoreline surrounding Port Gamble Bay in north Kitsap County. This momentous opportunity will help sustain our region’s quality of life, environmental health and economic vitality; it has the potential to shape the future of the entire Kitsap Peninsula. Kitsap County, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Forterra, Great Peninsula Conservancy and a coalition of 30 local and state agencies, businesses and community groups are working in partnership to implement this comprehensive conservation strategy.

Forterra and the landowner, Pope Resources, signed an option agreement in fall 2011 that gave the community time to secure funds. To date, three land transactions totaling 1,076 acres have been completed, with several more planned over the next three years. These spectacular forests and shoreline will serve as a backbone to a regional land and water trail system, giving residents and visitors education and recreation opportunities extending throughout the peninsula.

 SUPPORT THE KITSAP FOREST & BAY PROJECT
Grovers Creek Preserve
Photo by Joe Walsh

Accomplishments

February 2014 marked the first milestone, with the purchase of 535 acres and 1.5 miles of shoreline by Kitsap County, followed by a 366-acre expansion of North Kitsap Heritage Park in December 2014. Together, these two acquisitions leveraged over $6 million in federal, state, tribal and local funds – showcasing the broad support for protecting these lands for public use, sustainable timber management, and wildlife habitat.

In April 2015, Great Peninsula Conservancy purchased 175 acres along Grovers Creek, including forests and wetlands that nourish Miller Bay. Visit our newsroom to read media coverage on the project.

What’s ahead

  • Port Gamble Forest: Over 3,000 acres of forestland connected to the town of Port Gamble. Several pending public grant requests, including funds to create a new 200-acre mountain bike park.

The project secures crucial trail corridors that will someday link Washington’s Pacific Coast to Idaho’s border. The Sound to Olympics Trail will be a regional shared use trail across Kitsap County that will connect to the Olympic Discovery Trail and Cross State Trail, accommodating cyclists, runners, equestrians and people of all ages and abilities. The 1.5 miles of nearshore in the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park have been added to the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trail, now recognized as part of the National Water Trails System and regional Cascadia Marine Trail. Thousands of outdoor recreationists are drawn to this area annually, with more projected to come as recreation assets and tourism infrastructure grows.

The KFBP supports integral ecological and watershed systems of Port Gamble Bay, Hood Canal and Central Puget Sound. The landscape supports a rich and productive nursery for endangered and threatened salmon species and critical stocks of forage fish; provides significant wintering habitat for ducks and other marine birds; and supports the food chain for marine mammals.

For More Information

Contact Susannah Hale, Forterra Campaign Director (206) 905-6911 or email.

Project Partners

Great Peninsula Conservancy
Kitsap County
Kitsap Forest and Bay Coalition
North Kitsap Trails Association
Olympic Property Group – It’s Your Backyard

Port Gamble S’Klallam
Suquamish Tribe

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