PORT GAMBLE (AP) — Kitsap County is buying 1,355 acres of land from a local timber company in a deal that will triple the size of Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park.

The Kitsap Sun says the $2.3 million agreement announced Tuesday allows Poulsbo-based Pope Resources to log the property in sections over the next 25 years. The public will have access to the land during that time.

Supporters say the deal ensures that one of the largest lowland forests in the Hood Canal watershed will be permanently protected.

Seattle-based nonprofit group Forterra negotiated the agreement. The state Department of Ecology provided the money.

Kitsap County's Eric Baker says the property would have cost millions more if timber value had not been factored in. Pope will replant the area with an array of trees to help restore the forest. The first logging and transfer dates have not been set.


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