POULSBO, Wash., May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pope Resources (Nasdaq: POPE) announced a $5.7 million conservation sale to Columbia Land Trust of 2,330 acres on the southern flanks of Mount St. Helens. The sale conserves approximately nine miles of sensitive Pine Creek riparian habitat and adjacent forestlands. Pine Creek is a prime habitat for bull trout, a threatened species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Columbia Land Trust acquired the land with a grant from the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act), the federal program that provides funding to states for species and habitat conservation on non-federal lands. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources administered the grant. The sale represents several years of coordinated efforts by Pope Resources, Columbia Land Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Skamania County to develop an integrated vision for Mount St. Helens forestlands that balances the needs of Pacific Northwest people and communities with wildlife habitat needs.
This parcel, adjacent to Pine Creek, is part of a much larger Mount St. Helens Forest Conservation Project that is spearheaded by Columbia Land Trust and aims to protect from development 20,000 acres of working forest and critical wildlife habitat around the Swift Reservoir on the Lewis River. The first of four parcels in the Mount St. Helens Forest Conservation Project was conserved in 2010. With a Forest Legacy grant procured by Columbia Land Trust, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources was able to buy a conservation easement from Pope Resources in 2010 that permanently protects 6,886 acres of forestlands south of the reservoir from development. Since the Pope Resources property is one of the county's largest private holdings, project proponents have worked to insure all conserved lands remain on the county tax rolls.
"We are pleased to see the second phase of this innovative project move forward, and we are very optimistic about another state grant that will help us conserve an additional 3,074 acres under a conservation easement," said Jon Rose, president of Olympic Property Group, Pope Resources' real estate subsidiary.About Pope Resources Pope Resources, a publicly traded limited partnership, and its subsidiaries Olympic Resource Management and Olympic Property Group, own or manage 196,000 acres of timberland and development property in Washington, Oregon, and California. We also manage, co-invest in, and consolidate three timberland investment funds, for which we earn management fees. These timberland investment vehicles provide an efficient means of investing our own capital in Pacific Northwest timberland while earning fees from managing these vehicles for the third-party investors. The company and its predecessor companies have owned and managed timberlands and development properties for more than 150 years. Additional information on the company can be found at www.poperesources.com. The contents of our website are not incorporated into this release or into our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release contains forward-looking statements about our operating results, business plans and objectives. These statements reflect management's estimates based on current goals and its expectations about future developments. Because these statements describe our goals, objectives, and anticipated performance, they are inherently uncertain, and some or all of these statements may not come to pass. Accordingly, they should not be interpreted as promises of future management actions or financial performance. Forward-looking statements in this release are made only as of the date shown above, and we cannot undertake to update these statements.