Navy pays $4.9M in fees, partners with conservation groups

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The Navy has partnered with conservation organizations to preserve more than 5 square miles (13 square kilometers) of Jefferson County land that’s in areas near ongoing naval operations.

The Kitsap Sun reported Saturday that the Navy paid land easement fees of $4.92 million to obtain usage rights for the land.

Naval Base Kitsap Community Planning Liaison Officer Lynn Wall says the partnership supports agricultural land and helps develop agribusiness.

The conservation groups also will now be able to protect the land from development, which it was susceptible to beforehand.

Richard Corff, project manager for the Trust for Public Land, says the plan is to keep the land as a community forest. Corff said the area will likely have trail upkeep, public access and possibly on-site education classes for local schools.