Tree lovers are willing to pay

  • WINNER: The pine marten's habitat is preserved in Loomis State Forest

    Dan Hartman
  Washington's Loomis State Forest has 25,000 roadless acres, and environmentalists say they'll spend millions to preserve it. In just a few months, the Loomis Forest Fund raised $3 million, but contributors say they need $10.1 million more to compensate the state for the cash it could make by logging. The forest, which borders Canada, is part of an endowment of state lands where logging revenue is used to build new public schools (HCN, 6/22/98).

"This is a good deal for everybody," says Fred Munson, director of the Loomis Forest Fund. "The money will go directly to the school trust, and no money will be wasted on road building and timber production."

The forest is home to the healthiest lynx population in the lower 48 and also serves as a critical habitat corridor for Canadian wildlife. Yet if the land is purchased, locals will still be able to hunt, fish and hike in the Loomis.

"This forest has a huge potential for recreation," says Bill Pope, a lifelong Washington resident and former Microsoft lawyer, who has given more than $300,000 to preserve the forest. "It's not going to be easy and it's certainly not in the bag," says Pope, "but we have our fingers crossed." Washington conservationists face a tight deadline: July 1.

For more information, contact the Loomis Forest Fund at 600 First Ave., Suite 416, Seattle, WA 98104 (206/264-0477) or email [email protected]

*Rebecca Clarren

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