The Forest Service has received funding to buy a few privately owned parcels of land in the northwest.
The money for the land buys comes from a federal conservation fund, that gets a tiny percent of the royalties from offshore oil drilling.
Debbie Okholm is with the Forest Service. She says more than 15 percent of the land inside national forest boundaries in the northwest is actually owned by other people. So the forest service focuses on acquiring that land.
“You can pick up a strategic parcel from a willing seller, internal to the national forest, inside of all the rest of that green if you will, and you’ll create efficiencies."
In Washington, new purchases include a parcel in the Cascades south of Snoqualmie Pass. That will protect about a mile of the Pacific Crest Trail. In Oregon, purchases include land in the Hells Canyon National Recreation area. And in Idaho the parcels include salmon habitat in the Sawtooth and Clearwater National Forests.