Kitsap Forest and Bay Community Campaign
Secured: A 1500 Acre Gift to the Region!
December 22, 2017 – Forterra has secured the acquisition of over 1,500 more acres of the cherished Port Gamble Forest from Pope Resources—thanks to over 1,200 community donations and grants totaling $4.0M—bringing the total Kitsap Forest and Bay Project’s conserved area to 4,000 acres. Read more here.
The Kitsap Forest and Bay Community Campaign is the final phase of a multi-year effort to secure the purchase of the Port Gamble Forest. We must raise $3.5 million to ensure the Port Gamble Forest will not be sold and developed.
Port Gamble Forest—a forest three times the size of New York’s Central Park—is at risk of being sectioned into 20 acre plots which, if sold would cause the forest to become fragmented, increasing development and limiting public access.
If we fail to act now, the days of informal access to the property will draw to a sharp close, and with that the opportunity for ecological restoration and community recreation in this uniquely-situated forest will be lost.
The Campaign to save Port Gamble Forest is part of a larger effort that has leveraged over $7 million in federal, state, tribal and local funds. Because of this project, more than 1,000 acres of forest and shoreline of the Kitsap Peninsula are now in public ownership. The purchase of Port Gamble Forest is the final and key acquisition for the project.
Kitsap Forest and Bay Community Campaign is a two-year fiscal campaign to raise $3.5 million in private funds with a deadline of mid-year 2017.
What will happen to the spirit, beauty and ecosystems of this unique place as we grow?
It is estimated that by 2024, our region’s population will grow by 24%—with this increase, undeveloped lands will come under increasing pressure to absorb the region’s growth.
People come to the Pacific Northwest seeking a high quality of life and the breathtaking natural beauty of our mountains and forests. We must protect these keystone lands, like the Port Gamble Forest, that make this place great.
The 3,000 acre Port Gamble Forest, only a nine minute-bike ride from the Kingston ferry, is a community treasure and cultural resource for the entire Puget Sound region. The Port Gamble Forest’s enormous size and proximity to surrounding metropolitan areas makes it an ideal year-round recreation destination.
- Currently hosting over 60 miles of public use trails, the Forest is a place where over 20,000 hikers, bird watchers, mountain bikers, equestrians, cyclists and runners all recreate.
- A 200-acre mountain bike park with riding loops and skill obstacles will provide opportunities for families to enjoy healthy outdoor recreation together.
- The Sound to Olympics Trail, a shared-use trail that crosses Kitsap County and connects to the Olympic Discovery Trail and Cross State Trail, will run through the property, accommodating cyclists, runners, equestrians and people of all ages and abilities.
Forterra and key community partners have formed this Community Campaign—with Co-chairs from Kitsap county government, the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Suquamish Tribes and outdoor industry leaders, along with a Steering Committee with representatives from local land trust and user-groups.
With so many organizations committed to working together, the campaign to preserve the Port Gamble Forest is a testament to community cooperation.