Weyerhaeuser to start charging for access to its land

2:55 pm May 13th, 2013

By Bob Brown
Weyerhaeuser Co. recently announced that all access, motorized and non-motorized onto its Vail and Pe Ell tree farms will require a recreation access permit starting Aug. 1 through Dec. 31. The permits will be sold online only.
Weyerhaeuser’s decision to charge an access fee was a surprise to the recreation community, but it should have been expected. Other timber companies have been charging an access fee for years, so it was only a matter of time before Weyerhaeuser joined the club. The fee could be considered nothing more than a good business move, even though some individuals might think otherwise.
Permits will cost $150 each, with a maximum of 750 issued for Vail. One permit covers legally married spouses and children and grandchildren age 18 and under. Permitholders will have access (including motorized access) seven days per week from August to December to most of Vail’s 155,000 acres. Entry will start one and a half hours before sunrise and end one and one half hours after sunset. The company will reserve the right to close the farm in times of high fire danger.
Weyerhaeuser has also put aside 2,700 acres in three tracts that will be available for lease by bidding on, which should be operational June 1. The leases will allow for exclusive use of a particular tract.
Meanwhile, because some timber companies have announced plans for requiring permits and charging fees to hunt on their lands, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is advising hunters who are considering applying for special hunting permits to check timber company websites or hotlines for information regarding access requirements before submitting a special permit application. The five game management units currently affected by new access requirements are 501,506,530, 672 and 667. The deadline for submitting a special permit application this year is May 22. WDFW has also stressed it does not have the legal authority to regulate private landowners’ decisions about restricting access or charging fees to hunt on the land.

Fish on

Despite cool and windy weather, anglers had a lot of success reeling in large trout on opening day of this year’s lowland lakes fishing season. Based on creel checks conducted at 98 lakes around the state, WDFW estimates that anglers caught on average of four trout opening day. Chris Donley, WDFW’s inland fish program manager, said the 4,076 anglers contacted retained an average of 2.8 trout, up from 2.3 fish in recent years. The rest of the fish were released.
A creel check at Mineral Lake opening day showed 67 anglers with 171 trout kept and 95 released. Eighteen broodstock, 14 triploids and some brown were also caught. The largest fish caught weighed nearly 10 pounds.
Other local creel checks showed:
• Clear Lake: The average was 4.9 trout caught per angler, 2.8 kept.
• Tanawax: The average was 4.6 trout caught per angler, with 1.9 kept.
• Rapjohn: Anglers averaged 4.3 trout caught, 2.4 kept.
• McIntosh: The average was 5.7 trout caught per angler, 3.6 kept.
• Ohop: The average was 4.1 fish caught per angler, 3.6 kept.
Donley said two of the largest fish caught opening day and recorded were a 24.5-inch rainbow trout at Vance Creek Pond 2 (Lake Inez) in Grays Harbor County, and a 24–inch rainbow at Lincoln County’s Fishtrap Lake.

11 Responses to Weyerhaeuser to start charging for access to its land

  1. Howard Christensen Reply

    May 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Will Weyerhauser be charging to hunt in the Winston Creek and Margret Units? If so how much.

    Like all hunters we are on a fixed income.

    Do the timber company’s get a tax breaks from the state and WDFW?

    I under stand timber companys own the land but do they also own the wildlife?

    If this keeps up (fee) only the rich will be hunting like over in Europe.

  2. Billy Berry Reply

    May 28, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Charging for access a good business move? This money is a drop in the ocean of the money these people bank every year. Nice try on that one.
    What about the State lands located inside the Vail Tree Farm? Anyone care that you the taxpayer will be denied access to land that belongs to you and not Weyerhaeuser? Will they be paying private property taxes now? I would be if I charged people to hunt on my land I still pay private property tax. From the Federal Government all the way to these people. Freedom is going away. The rich and the privileged will be the only ones enjoying these types of activities and guess what? No one will hold them accountable to pay their share of private property tax. There will be some ludicrous loop hole for them to dive into. Oh and Weyerhaeuser employees will pay half of the fee for the permits,which is fine. I have no problem with perks but will they be chosen first for the permits? Just like the upper Green River here near Toutle. We pay for the Hatchery Steelhead that goes up there but only employees get to fish them. We are not denied access to the fish if we want to ride a bike for 10 or 15 miles. This essentially gives exclusive fishing rights to just Weyerhaeuser employees with a key to the gates. This company gave me access to lands as a child growing up here to feed my desire to hunt and fish close to home. They are denying my 15 year old son the same opportunity at that life.
    We both appreciate that.

    • Eric Watson Reply

      June 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      ITs sad to hear what you say but its true. The government workers play the “I dont make all that much it just seems a lot” game. However, if you look at all the big pay parties they have on our taxes, how crappy our I-5 bridges are and it showed when the bridge went plop in the bay. Where is all the toll fees going? Arent we suppose to vote for these things? Seems the Legislature isnt nothing but a mediator for those rich people …. and I wonder how many state and federal workers have their moneys in other countries banks? Shhhh um how come we dont hear about that issue anymore? Did someone pay the news papers to shut up?

  3. Jerry Reply

    May 29, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    dose this mean weyerhauser is going to pay more taxes on there land becuse its not open for recreation now?

  4. Daniel Reply

    June 19, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw white signs suddenly stapled near the entrances just off McIntosh Lake which is the Vail tree farm leading to Crawford Mtn. I’ve used the accesses for years during biking and hiking trips with my GPS. Certainly low impact activities. By selling permits (with keys or card key codes) for those than can afford it, you are opening up a can of worms. There will be trash, torn up roads by trucks and ATV’s, unsavory private campgrounds, and drugs. How much will it cost to patrol and repair? I can’t believe that Weyerhaeuser is doing this without a plan.

    By the way, how about accessing pioneer graveyard and airplane crash sites? I don’t believe for a second that the State and its citizens have been allowed to provide adequate input unless its been published to private hunting groups. Weyerhaeuser has been given special tax rates negotiated with the state a long time ago. I’ve contacted my Congressman and State Representative. Too late maybe but you never know what a squeaky wheel can accomplish.

  5. Curt Reply

    July 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    New signage Vail Weyerhaeuser area
    No trespassing private property violators will be prosecuted for trespassing under
    RW 9A.52.080 or RCW 77.5.435
    This includes DNR property, state land, private land, Fossil Rock and other climbing walls in the area, lakes , rivers, ect. Behind their gates!!!! :'(
    I think this answers all questions,and for this they get open space tax break?

  6. Billy Berry Reply

    August 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Oh yeah a never mind the state land that we the people own a pay taxes on. No access there either.
    They and our state politicians are a joke for letting them get away with it. Who’s pockets are being lined???

  7. DJ Reply

    August 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

    We need to push our legislators to do what Wisconsin has done. They have two different tax breaks for timber. One for land that allows public access and one for land that doesn’t. Call you rep and tell them to do this. Yes, I know, they are in bed with big timber, but wee still vote them in. No full tax breaks if they charge for access. It’s called double-dipping.

  8. Rob Gibbons Reply

    September 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    What about all the trucks and equipment doing damage to the public roads…. Maybe we should only allow 100 trucks a year!!!!

  9. Billy Berry Reply

    September 13, 2013 at 8:16 am

    In reply to the 100 trucks a year only.
    Nice idea. I mentioned before that they get their tax breaks for property taxes and still will even though they are limiting us to access and keeping us from our state land that is inside their gates.
    Anyone want to bet they get tax breaks on the licenses for those trucks as well???????
    Like I said, we have spineless representatives that let them do whatever they want for a lining of the pockets. What a joke.

  10. BB Reply

    April 7, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Isn’t it illegal to block access to public land and waters?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *