A boost for the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area

Lake Stickney-Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area.
Lake Stickney (center-right in photo) is included in the 2,445 acres recently authorized for transfer into the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area.

The terrain around Lake Stickney is rugged to say the least. No roads lead into the area and the site ranges from 1,000 to 4,000 feet in elevation. With steep slopes, high quality forest habitat, and numerous trees more than an century-and-a-half old, harvesting timber there for the Common School (construction) Trust would have required a high-level of forest practices oversight and, most likely, the use of helicopters to remove logs.

Those concerns are gone now with the Board of Natural Resource’s recent authorization for DNR to transfer 2,445 acres of Common School Trust land near the lake into the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). The area, north of Gold Bar in Snohomish County, will continue to offer low-impact outdoor recreation to hardy visitors. In return for the transfer, the state’s school construction account will receive $5.1 million for future school projects. The amount reflects the value of standing timber on the land. DNR will receive $599,000—the land’s value—to purchase replacement lands better suited to natural resources revenue for the trust. The money to complete the transfer comes through the legislatively funded Trust Land Transfer program, which helps the school trust get value from lands that cannot be harvested and replace them with other properties more conducive to management for long-term revenue.

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