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Location: washington state
Joined: 06/03/2009
Posts: 6
Hunting Areas in Western WA

The gates are still locked but some timber companies, specifically rayonier, is subleasing their land to individuals for private recreational use. The individuals who sublease are allowed to put their own locks on the gates and freely drive the roads. There are a great number of roads that do not have gates on the backside of their property and these people now have vehicle access, although not legally, to many many miles of walk-in only area. It is just not right. Not to mention if there are not survey markers out in the roads that are being leased it is very difficult to tell where one land stops and another one starts. Pretty sore subject in southwest Wa right now and a lot of people are pissed. Hopefully rayonier will pull their head out and do the right thing.

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Joined: 07/07/2009
Posts: 6
Hunting Areas in Western WA

...before someone gets Olympia involved and they make it even worse.

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Location: washington state
Joined: 06/03/2009
Posts: 6
Hunting Areas in Western WA

Getting Oly involved might be the best option. Its not right for private tax paying citizens to get railroaded by rich companies that recieve more and more of our tax money every year. Can I sublease my property to anyone on the street for recreational purposes and not pay hardly any taxes on that land? No!!!!, I would have to get rezoned, get use permits, get the proper licensing and inspections, and have my property taxes go through the roof. If Joe Blow public can't do it why should the timber companies be allowed to. This country was built on equality. Now it is he with the most money wins. The state stands to loose a great deal of money from people who are unable to afford leasing the timber companies land. Those (which are a majority of hunters) will not be buying hunting and fishing licenses. That also attributes to the economic downturn in the state. Might as well layoff another 50% of state game and wildlife officials. In conclusion, Yes Oly hopefully will get involved.

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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Joined: 07/28/2009
Posts: 1
Hunting Areas in Western WA

I have been trying to find, but can't seem to handily, the legislation or DNR or Wildlife rule from a couple of years ago that allowed the "new" leasing by Rayonier and other timber companies. Supposedly it was to make up for the diminishing access to public lands for hunting. The only thing I can see it did was give Rayonier another huge tax break on top of their forestland tax break. Don't get me wrong, I have no objection to Rayonier growing and harvesting trees and getting the land use designation & tax break to do that (they DO pay a fairly substantial excise tax on trees harvested; that's how the lower land tax gets made up for). BUT I agree with Weasel, if they are leasing property for a profit, they should not be able to have a timberland tax break.
I am a property owner behind a Rayonier gate. I pay for my access. My agreement with them is that I have to maintain the road to my property, since they are not logging there any more. I do. Every year it has cost me at least $2,500 to maintain the road. This year it will be at least twice that. Why? Because Rayonier has leased several units to several hunting clubs behind the gate, one of which units is next to my property. Not only are they using the road on a nearly daily basis with 4-wh drive trucks, but the lessees have not been given good information about the boundaries. So now I have to maintain the road for a large number of people I don't know and don't care about, while they blast the wildlife on the property I have taken care of and paid taxes on for many years. There should be some safeguards at least, and a large buffer zone for private owners. If anyone any find that legislation for me I would appreciate it...... I intend to try to send my comments to whatever department is responsible for this. Just my 2 or 3 cents worth.

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Location: washington state
Joined: 06/03/2009
Posts: 6
Hunting Areas in Western WA

Thats what I am talking about. Common people getting screwed by big companies. I was actually told by our local county assessor, as he chuckled, and said if you have enough money you can pretty much do whatever you want. Doesn't make sense to me. If the people cross the boundry line onto your property I would immediately call Rayonier, the local sheriff and the game department. All Rayonier did by leasing their land was extremely limit public access and public hunting opportunities while gaining coin in their pocket. If they lease the land for recreational use they should be rezoned. I think I should be able to lease a section of my yard every night for camping. Nope I would have to be rezoned and pay property taxes and license fee accordingly. Not right and needs to be stopped at the legislative level.

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