August 2012 Public Lease Auction of new parcel

Part of lease parcel

Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public auction to lease a 3,358.6-acre parcel for irrigated agriculture production. The land is located just 5.5 miles from Paterson, in Benton County, and is prime ground for irrigated row, orchard and vineyard crops.

Pre-auction tour of lease property July 12
A tour for those potentially interested in bidding will be held on July 12. Call (509) 925-0912 for details and to hold a spot at the tour.

Provides opportunity for proposal on combination of agricultural crops
What:      Sealed bid public auction to lease 3,358.6 acres of state trust lands
When:     August 14, 2012 at 2:00 p.m., pdt
Where:   Southeast Region Office in Ellensburg,  
Details:  Sealed bids (including proposed cash bonus bids) must be received no later than 2:00 p.m. on August 14, 2012. The proposed lease authorizes bidder to propose any combination of irrigated agriculture crops—perennial or annually cropped. Successful bidder will be responsible for future agriculture development and water system costs.

Complete information and lease documents are on DNR’s ‘Leasing State Trust Lands for Agriculture’ webpage. Or call the Southeast Region office: (509) 925-8510.

Currently the site has several hundred acres planted in hybrid poplar. All but 214 acres of trees will be removed by Greenwood Resources within 18 months.

Acquiring replacement property for school trust
DNR finalized the purchase of the 3,300-acre parcel in Benton County in May of this year. The purchased property, which adjoins other trust lands managed by DNR, includes water rights and irrigation systems. The seller of the property was Sandpiper Tree Farm, LLC.

Acquisition funds came from a land replacement account for the Common School Trust, to replace trust properties that had been sold at public auction to private parties or transferred to public agencies—lands that were more difficult to manage, less productive or less likely to provide long-term revenue to the public schools. As replacement trust properties, DNR acquires working forests, agricultural or other natural resource lands.

Pat Ryan, Agriculture Program Manager

Irrigation system on lease parcel in Benton County

Map and graphics showing lease area