Blog: Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe opposed plans for development

'On one of our last days, we met with the timber company Pope Resources, which is eager to sell off thousands of acres of its private landholdings surrounding and near its historic company town, Port Gamble, so it can escape suburban growth pressures and move its logging operations farther south. The company's real estate arm, Olympia Property Group, which has been toying with ways to subdivide the property, says it wanted to concentrate residential development at its old mill site, right on Gamble Bay – leaving the vast majority of its acres as green space, laced with trails. To a reporter, it sounded like a pretty good deal. But directly across the bay sits the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe's reservation. Last year, the tribe was operative in fighting, and helping to kill, the proposal. When we visited them that afternoon, we found out part of the reason why.

Under newspaper weighted with rocks and layered with kelp, tribal members had prepared us a lunch of local cockles, oysters, crab and clams – steamed in their own juices outdoors over hot coals. The upscale community planned by the Olympia Property Group would almost certainly come with a marina, explained tribal Chairman Jeromy Sullivan, and under state regulations, a marina would likely result in a cascade of environmental closures in the S’Klallam’s treasured (and already polluted, thanks to the old mill) Port Gamble Bay, from which members still harvest shellfish."

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The GOAT Blog: What's for dinner? (High Country News 7/19)

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