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Land swap with Skokomish tribe to boost Hood Canal park camping 8-07

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A land swap with the Skokomish Indian Tribe to
provide more camping space on Hood Canal and ease the way for more
tribal housing has been approved the state Parks and Recreation
Commission.

Under the deal approved Monday, the tribe gets 30 acres of
undeveloped land from Potlatch State Park, some of it for
construction of an access road to an area where the tribe plans to
build housing, and 34 acres of tideland a mile southeast of the
park's day use area near the elbow of Hood Canal.

In exchange, the tribe is buying the 11-acre Minerva Beach
recreational vehicle resort to turn over to the state for park
camping.

Park officials valued the new tribal land at $818,000 and the RV
park, which includes 70 trailer hookup sites, primitive camping
places and a small store and laundry service, at $750,000.

To cover the difference, the tribe agreed to allow public access to
the tidelands while retaining shellfishing rights.

With a backlog of about 100 families waiting for housing, the tribe
plans to build two dozen homes by next summer and a total of about
130 homes over 15 years, deputy tribal manager Tom Strong said.

Negotiations began about two years ago when tribal officials asked
for permission to use a primitive service road through the state park
for access to an area slated for more housing.

“Our gut reaction was no,” said Rex E. Derr, park commission
director, “but then we thought about all the possible benefits at
the other end if we really sat down and talked it out.”

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com
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