Home to one of the largest bat breeding population s found in the State, Woodard Bay is known for its 800 acres of habitat for many species, as well as historical and cultural resources in Puget Sound. Once used as a log transporting corridor in the early 1900s for Weyerhaeuser, Woodard Bay operations included a trestle and pier that stretched across Chapman Bay.
Due to changing market conditions in the 1980s, the trestle and pier were no longer being utilized to transport timber. DNR purchased the property, with the structures intact, from Weyerhaeuser in the 1980s as part of the Natural Resources Conservation Area. The wood that the structures were built from contains toxic creosote, which has been leaking in to the aquatic environment and is harmful to species and vegetation.
The DNR Aquatic Restoration Program and Natural Areas Program have worked since 2007 to devise a restoration plan that will bring back the natural ecological functions of Woodard Bay without disturbing the habitats and species that depend on the old creosote structures.
The conclusion was to remove the entirety of the old trestle that stretched across Woodard Bay, and remove 150 feet of the pier that spans Chapman Bay. By limiting the removal of the pier, DNR is allowing the bat roosting habitat to stay intact until another habitat replacement can be built. The total removal of creosote treated decking and pilings was 1,450 tons!