Wash., Navy sign Hood Canal conservation easement - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash., Navy sign Hood Canal conservation easement

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Navy and Washington state's public lands commissioner have signed a conservation easement that's designed to block future industrial development on Hood Canal.

The Kitsap Sun reports (http://is.gd/xvCb1F ) that the easement covers about 4,800 acres, from the Hood Canal bridge to just south of the Jefferson-Mason County line. The Navy is paying $720,000 for the easement, which precludes commercial projects that extend out into the water.

In a statement, Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark said Monday that the agreement "will buffer important military operating areas in Hood Canal and ensure the long-term stability of the Navy's presence at Naval Base Kitsap." Goldmark says the agreement "will also provide new protections for sensitive marine ecosystems and safeguard public access to Hood Canal."

Capt. Tom Zwolfer is the commanding officer of Naval Base Kitsap. He says the agreement will help protect the Navy's operating areas for the next 55 years.

Information from: Kitsap Sun, http://www.kitsapsun.com/

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