NKTA has worked with the Kitsap Forest and Bay Project since its inception five years ago to purchase 3,600 acres of Olympic Property Group forest lands and miles of actively used trails south of Port Gamble. Two years ago that Project competed Phase I when Kitsap County purchased 540 acres along Gamble Bay and created the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park. The Kitsap Forest and Bay Community Campaign is the final phase of that original effort.
We have one year to raise the money needed to complete an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve Port Gamble Forest's from future development. The property's enormous size, its miles of actively used trails and its proximity to surrounding cities makes it an ideal recreation destination for equestrians, biker, hiker and bird watchers. It is a critical path for the planned Sound to Olympics Trail connecting the Olympic Discovery Trail to the west with the Cross State Trail to the east and includes the site for a planned 200 acre mountain bike park with riding loops and skill obstacles. As one of the largest lowland forests in the Hood Canal watershed the land is also a place for quiet in the heart of a rapidly growing urban landscape, a refuge for plants and animals, a nursery for salmon and stocks for forage fish, and a wintering habitat for marine birds. The lands and waters of Port Gamble Bay provide fundamental cultural, spiritual and subsistence resources to the Suquamish and Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribes.
$14 million dollars of public funds have already secured and another $3.5 million dollars must be raised by 2017. Forterra will manage the campaign with guidance by regional leaders from Kitsap County's government, the Port Gamble S'Klallam and Suquamish Tribes, and Outdoor Research. The North Kitsap Trails Association along with other local organizations will continue to provide support. Many regions across the country have not acted to preserve their forest, and as a result have lost them forever. The success of this effort hinges on community support to raise the remaining funds. We look forward to preserving this generational legacy and will let you how you can help ensure that the Port Gamble forest will not be sold and developed as the Campaign progresses.