The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe reached a deal with Rayonier, and its subsidiary Raydient, purchasing 18.4 acres of a conservation easement on the Pope & Talbot Mill site.
The purchase of this easement will prevent development on the site as well as set into motion a new restoration process. It will also allow for public access to parts of the old mill site, making it a unique amenity to the town’s New England charm, officials said.
“Over the last several years, there has been tremendous progress in protecting, restoring and preserving areas that have great cultural and historical importance to the Port Gamble S’Klallams. This agreement is particularly significant as the mill site provides a direct connection to our tribe’s ancestors, who once had a village at that location,” tribal chairman Jeromy Sullivan said. “Being able to grow and strengthen the relationship between our tribe and Rayonier’s team has been essential in our ability to reach outcomes with shared benefits.”
Funding for the purchase is not being disclosed but was made possible by the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, and the Aquatic Lands and Enhancement Account.
“This transaction demonstrates Rayonier’s commitment to follow through with the historic agreement struck in 2019 between the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and Pope Resources,” said David Nunes, president and CEO of Rayonier. “We see this as an important step in helping to preserve the rich heritage of the historic townsite of Port Gamble.”