DNR buys lands around Taylor Shellfish hatchery for long-term conservation

Posted 10/27/15

More forested shoreline and steep slopes along Dabob Bay are now permanently protected as part of a state-managed natural area preserve near Quilcene.

On Sept. 17, Taylor Shellfish Farms sold four …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

DNR buys lands around Taylor Shellfish hatchery for long-term conservation

Posted

More forested shoreline and steep slopes along Dabob Bay are now permanently protected as part of a state-managed natural area preserve near Quilcene.

On Sept. 17, Taylor Shellfish Farms sold four undeveloped shoreline parcels, totaling 15 acres, to the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for preservation as part of the Dabob Bay Natural Area, according to a press release.

The company retained a fifth parcel of 7 acres, which holds the existing shellfish hatchery operation.

“We are pleased that we could be a part of the sustained effort by DNR, NWI and others to protect Dabob Bay – an effort which is so important in maintaining water quality, our shellfish hatchery operations and the ecological health of the bay for generations to come," said Bill Taylor, owner of Taylor Shellfish, in the press release.

The company built and managed the shellfish hatchery on Dabob Bay beginning in 1990. The hatchery, which grows clam and oyster larvae in large tanks of seawater located on the uplands, is one of the largest such hatcheries in the world and employs 15 people, according to Taylor.

“I much appreciate Taylor Shellfish Company’s willingness to step up to the plate to help protect one of the highest-quality and least-developed bays remaining in Puget Sound” said Peter Bahls, a biologist and director of the Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI), a nonprofit conservation group that helped with the acquisition.

In 2009, the proposed boundaries of the natural area were expanded to nearly 6,200 upland and aquatic acres by DNR to better protect the long-term health of Dabob Bay. Bahls said the boundary expansion was based on a scientific assessment by DNR’s Natural Heritage Program staff that found it was a statewide priority for conservation, followed by a positive recommendation from the state’s Natural Heritage Advisory Council, and a strong show of support by a coalition of local representatives, tribes and shellfish industry, and many citizens at public hearings.

Since then, DNR, NWI, Jefferson Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy and other conservation partners have been working with willing landowners to acquire land within the area’s boundaries.

About 3,000 acres have been conserved to date, according to Bahls.

NWI helped coordinate the project. “The acquisition was challenging because the five parcels needed to be reconfigured to ensure that Taylor could maintain their entire shellfish hatchery operation on one of the parcels and sell the adjacent ones to DNR.”

NWI commissioned Johnston Survey of Port Angeles to conduct the survey and obtained approval of the boundary-line adjustment through Jefferson County’s Department of Community Development. NWI’s work on the project was supported by a National Coastal Wetlands Conservation grant managed by the Washington Department of Ecology.

DNR purchased the four parcels, totaling 15 acres, for the appraised fair market value of $440,000. DNR secured federal and state grant funding for the acquisition from the NOAA Coastal Estuary and Land Conservation Program and Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. The parcels acquired are now permanently protected by recorded deed restrictions that prevent development and ensure their stewardship by DNR as part of the natural area.

“Acquisition of these steep forested slopes and shorelines are significant additions to the Dabob Bay Natural Area, benefiting wildlife and contributing to the long-term health of the bay for aquaculture “ said Curt Pavola, manager of the DNR Natural Areas Program.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment