The Springs Forest Management Plan
The Cooperative owns forty acres of heavily forested land near the Brennick reservoir. Within those parcels are a group of retired surface wells that we call the “Springs”. Before the Cooperative drilled wells, this was how we sourced our water. A small dam was built to collect water and a pipe was laid to carry water to a reservoir (now abandoned) above the Brennick reservoir.
While the Springs are no longer in use, the Cooperative still maintains ownership of the land. We are exempt from paying property tax on this land due to its classification as Forest Land. To retain this status, the Cooperative must maintain a Forest Management Plan with the Island County Assessor.
The Board has hired a licensed forester to update this Forest Management Plan. Once Island County accepts the new plan, the Board will hire a local logging company to implement the provisions of the plan. The “Do Nothing” alternative would mean losing our tax exempt status and incurring a hefty, annual property tax.
The Board has expressed their goals for the new Forest Management Plan to include preserving the Chapman Creek stream bed, minimizing the number of trees removed, and improving the overall health of the forest for plants and animals. Logging will result in small clearings which will enable access for wildlife and the growth of new, healthier trees.
The cost of developing the plan is $3,000. There will be additional costs to manage and oversee harvesting. However, we will also receive revenue from timber sales and compensation for property which cannot be logged due to environmental regulations protecting the creek. For example, no logging is permitted within 200 feet on either side of the creek. This includes a considerable amount of timber which the Cooperative would have the right to harvest were it not for the requirement to protect the stream bed.
JUNE 21, 2023 UPDATE:
On June 8th, the board held a special meeting to hear recommendations developed by Roots Forestry for the new Forest Management Plan (FMP). The proposed FMP outlined areas that would be left undisturbed and areas where logging would occur. According to the proposed plan, multiple areas will be left undisturbed including 140 feet on either side of Chapman Creek, areas of cedar and maple concentrations, and areas where extensive root rot exists. In total, approximately twenty acres will logged. For each acre, they will leave twenty-five of the oldest, largest trees undisturbed. These areas will be replanted later in the fall. This plan would benefit the long-term health of the forest and provide habitat for various wildlife populations.
The board has adopted the proposed FMP and the Cooperative has submitted the plan to Island County which is currently reviewing it. Once the FMP is approved, updates will be provided via the website and, depending on timing, in the newsletter.
Camano Cooperative Water & Power Co.
A private water cooperative serving approximately 600 shareholders and
with the capacity to serve up to 698.
994 S. Gary Lane
Camano Island, WA 98282
(360) 387-7363 office
(360) 630-0970 after hours emergency
M-Th 11am - 3pm
F 11am - 2pm