The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe will be the new owner of the White River Forest near Enumclaw.
According to reports, the tribe purchased 96,307 acres from Hancock Natural Resource Group for about $313 million. The White River Forest includes about 86,501 acres. The entire acquisition spans King, Pierce and Lewis counties.
A release from the tribe stated the transaction closed Nov. 5.
“This acquisition is another important step toward the tribe’s goals of increasing our land base, reacquiring portions of our homeland and diversifying our economy,” said Muckleshoot Tribal Council Chair Virginia Cross in the release. “The tribe looks forward to managing this land for the primary purpose of longterm sustainable timber harvest, while preserving natural values including fish and wildlife habitat, plant resources and areas of cultural importance. This working forest will provide jobs and revenue for important tribal government programs now and for future generations.”
In March, King County purchased a conservation easement on the White River Forest, which is the largest unprotected forestland remaining in the county.