Tim and Beverly Ryan’s $150,000 gift will conserve 60 acres of Port Gamble-area forestland. (Forterra/Courtesy)

Ryans donate $150,000 for Port Gamble forestland conservation

Tim Ryan Construction founder Tim Ryan and his wife, Beverly, have donated $150,000 for the acquisition of 60 acres of forest in Port Gamble. That brings to more than 1,100 acres the amount of North Kitsap forest and shoreline that has been purchased by the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project from Pope Resources.

PORT GAMBLE — Tim Ryan Construction founder Tim Ryan and his wife, Beverly, have donated $150,000 for the acquisition of 60 acres of forest in Port Gamble.

That brings to more than 1,100 acres the amount of North Kitsap forest and shoreline that has been purchased by the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project from Pope Resources.

The donation was announced by Forterra over social media.

Kitsap County, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Forterra, Great Peninsula Conservancy and a coalition of 30 local and state agencies, businesses and community groups are working in partnership to raise money to acquire up to 6,700 acres of forest, wetlands and shoreline surrounding Port Gamble Bay. The lands will be maintained as undeveloped open space for habitat and public use.

Forterra and Pope Resources signed an option agreement in fall 2011 that gave the community time to secure funds. According to Forterra, “These spectacular forests and shoreline will serve as a backbone to a regional land and water trail system, giving residents and visitors education and recreation opportunities extending throughout the peninsula.”

Tim Ryan said March 16 his donation arose from a suggestion by his granddaughter, Kelly Sullivan, general manager of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.

“She called me up and said, ‘Grandpa, this would be a great thing to do,’ ” he said.

“She asked, ‘Why don’t you buy 20 acres for each one of your grandkids?’ Well, I have 34 grandkids, and I did the math,” he laughed.

“But then, someone said, ‘Well, why don’t you round it off [to $150,000]?’ I swallowed hard and so forth, but in the end, our whole family lives in Kitsap and I thought, maybe this is something that needs to be done.”

Ryan, 84, reflected on the recent birth of his 28th great-grandchild and thought about the legacy he might leave behind for generations to come.

“My family made our business in Kitsap and most of our lives have been here … I hope all of them understand that the community they live in is part of their lives, homes and a part of everything. They should take part and respect it. Open space is something that we should keep and preserve.”

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