State officials OK plan to expand Hood Canal nature areas

QUILCENE, Wash. (AP) — Washington state officials have approved a plan to expand Hood Canal conservation areas.

The Kitsap Sun reports ( that State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark last week approved the planned expansion of the 2,770-acre Dabob Bay Natural Area by 3,393 acres.

The expansion will come through land purchases and property transfers within the agency.

Goldmark also last month approved expanding nearby Devil's Lake Conservation Area from 80 acres to 495 acres.

The conservation areas will cover nearly 6,700 acres on the canal's west side.

Conservation groups say the expansion will reduce logging and development of wildlife habitat, as well as improve water quality.

The state Department of Natural Resources says it will seek money from lawmakers to help acquire land.