Ueland Tree Farm
***January 4, 2010 Update***
Conditional Use Permit - Response to Written Comments submitted by Joel Adamson dated December 14, 2009.
Kitsap Sun - December 24, 2009 - Christopher Dunagan Blog.
***December 2009 Update***
Critical Watershed Habitat Protected in Chico Creek Basin
The Mountaineers Foundation is pleased to announce the acceptance of a gift of a conservation easement from Ueland Tree Farm, LLC protecting approximately 100 acres of critical watershed near Chico and Lost Creeks in perpetuity. The conservation areas are in the northern portion of the Ueland Tree Farm property in central Kitsap County and borders the Mountaineers "Rhododendron Preserve". The easements include critical portions of the Lost Creek and Chico Creek watersheds. This generous gift ensures that riparian zones adjacent to these watercourses in the Rhododendron Preserve, near the Mountaineers Forest Theater, are preserved in perpetuity and is another step toward ensuring the long term health of these important salmon-bearing stream systems. The agreement also includes an option for the Foundation to purchase 68 acres of Ueland’s property as an addition to the Preserve.
Additional Links About The Agreement:
(map courtesy of Mountaineers Foundation)
***November 2009 Update***
The following are links to the most recent documents regarding mineral resource development at Ueland Tree Farm:
***Summer 2009 Update***
August 24, 2009
It has been a few months since our last update and a lot has happened on the tree farm in that time.
Tree Farm News
In July we brushed and cleaned out the culverts, as well as graded the 13+ miles of main roads. As many of you who walk the property know firsthand, some of the roads were starting to become overgrown and were clearly in need of attention. In addition, we have started to mark some of the likely conservation boundaries on the northern part of Ueland Tree Farm property using GPS technology.
Also, we would like to offer our special thanks to whoever brushed out the path to the waterfall on Dickerson Creek. I am sure many of you have enjoyed having this access made more convenient, including my own family when we camped on the property a couple of months ago.
Mineral Conditional Use Permit (CUP)
Kitsap County and their consultant finished and is publishing the “Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)” this week. The document will be posted on the web sites of both Kitsap County and Ueland Tree Farm. We received many helpful comments, questions and concerns both in writing and at last April’s public meeting and those have been addressed in the FEIS.
The most frequent concern expressed in those comments was that we may have jumped too quickly to just looking at the Lebers Lane access route and should have considered more seriously some southern access alternatives. This was a fair point, particularly given the limited amount of information that was in the public domain on the subject, so we hired an engineering firm to further analyze a variety of alternative routes and compare them to the Lebers Lane access route. In the interests of being open and transparent, we have posted this engineering report on our web site, in addition to providing it to Kitsap County as part of the EIS process. See the link for Mineral Resources Development Access Feasibility Analysis.
In a nutshell, the southern access routes are problematic. For various reasons related to protecting the sanctity of Bremerton’s water supply, the City of Bremerton does not want a road cutting through its watershed. Any other southern access route that avoids both Kitsap Lake and the Bremerton watershed has both environmental challenges (impacting wetlands and streams, traversing steep slopes, and increasing carbon emissions) and economic challenges (obtaining rights of way and paying higher construction and hauling costs). The report is short and readable. For those who want to actually walk the terrain and see firsthand what is discussed in the report, Ueland Tree Farm will conduct a tour on September 19th. I encourage you to attend.
After the FEIS is published, Kitsap County will hold a public hearing, which is tentatively set for September 24th. At the hearing you will have an opportunity to listen to the discussion and if you are so inclined make your own comments to the Hearing Examiner. Subsequent to the hearing, and having considered all studies and comments, the Hearing Examiner will then decide on whether to grant the CUP. If Ueland Tree Farm is granted the CUP, the next step is the design, engineering and permitting phase of the project (grading and building permits).
Tour of Ueland Tree Farm on Saturday, September 19th @ 9:00am
As mentioned earlier, we will host a tour of the tree farm, including the southern access routes. The tour will start at 9:00 am at the gate to our property at the end of Lebers Lane. The tour will include a brief overview of the tree farm and then will be tailored to cover whatever parts of the property are of most interest to the group. Please RSVP by sending an e-mail to email@example.com if you plan to attend, so we can plan accordingly.
Thanks for your interest in Ueland Tree Farm!
Craig and Niki Ueland
Ueland Tree Farm Mineral Resource Development - Final EIS - August 2009 (PDF | 27 MB)
Mineral Resources Development Access Feasibility Analysis - 05/22/09 (PDF | 8 MB)
***March 2009 Update***
The Kitsap County Department of Community Development has posted the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Ueland Tree Farm Mineral Resource Development Project. The DEIS is posted here at the Kitsap County web site (PDF | 38 MB).
In addition, several related reports have been updated. You can find links to the updated reports below, under the heading, "Conditional Use Permit Application". Each updated report is marked with a "++" symbol.
As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding Ueland Tree Farm, please click here.
***Winter 2008-2009 Update***
Click here to view a copy of our most recent update letter.
***Summer 2008 Update***
As you recall when we initially started this project we assumed because of the magnitude of the project and general concern about mining that we would be required to do an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS process ensures that the appropriate environmental and social analysis is conducted to make sure that a project doesn’t inadvertently impact the environment or community. Having anticipated this outcome we invested time up front to do the necessary analysis and in the process designed the facility to avoid and or minimize impacts. Over the last 1 ½ years we have received a lot of great input from the public and interested organizations which helped to shape the project and our management plan for the total 1,700 acres.
Attached is a scoping notice that the county advertised in the paper. The County is asking for your thoughts and concerns so they can determine if the analysis we conducted was thorough enough. The documents they mention in the attached announcement are the ones that have been posted on our web site since last December when we submitted the application and supporting information. The next step in the process is that the comments will be reviewed and the County will make a determination if the analysis is complete. If not we will need to gather additional information. At this point we can make any necessary adjustments to minimize, avoid or mitigate for any impacts that we might have missed. The County will then hold a public hearing to get input on the final design and the County Hearing Examiner will make a final decision.
In the past many people have felt that the EIS process was something they should try to avoid rather than seeing it as an opportunity to ensure that their project is environmentally and socially acceptable. We think we have designed a great and balanced project, one that can be used as an example of how to design a project (designing it around environmental and social parameters versus the other way around) and that if done properly the EIS is not a scary process but rather a source of value added.
Please pass this notice and the link to our web site uelandtreefarm.com to anyone who you think might be interested. If you want to make comments, please send them to David Greetham in the Kitsap County Department of Community Development by July 16th.Best regards, Craig Ueland Ueland Tree Farm, LLC Attachment: Link to Scoping Notice