News

Community on board for Kitsap Lake gravel quarry

By ERIN BEIL

Staff writer

After four public meetings, Craig and Nikki Ueland have the support from the community to continue with the Kitsap lake gravel quarry.

Purchasing nearly 1,700 acres of forest land near Kitsap Lake in 2004, the Uelands’ property is bordered by Bremerton’s watershed, Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and The Mountaineers’ lands.

“It took us a couple years in doing studies of how the property should be developed,” Craig Ueland said. “Our plans remain unchanged

The property also occupies 20 percent of the Chico Creek Watershed.

Various studies have been completed on the mineral and geology resources in the area, and a plan for mining and reclamation developments have been made. This also includes designed improvements to Leber lane which will serve as the access road to the gravel mine.

“What we think will happen is we’ll apply for the (rock quarry and gravel mine) permit in December or January,” Ueland added. “That’s extremely exciting.”

Between the community meetings and the Web site providing up-to-date data and information, Ueland said the community’s knowledge of the project “couldn’t be better”

“We’ve been very open, partly because of the meetings and partly because of the Web site,” he added. “The questions (at the meeting) were mostly around traffic and noise ... the rock quarry is a long ways away from people.”

Ueland added there was concern from the Kitsap Lake Housing Authority that they were going to apply for an asphalt plant permit, however, Ueland said he does not plan to apply at this time.

The Uelands’ land is currently under heavy use by the public for various recreational activities such as walking, mountain biking and hunting.

To develop a long-term socially and environmentally responsible management strategy for the land, Ueland said he is analyzing the ecological role the property plays in protecting the functions of the Chico Creek Watershed, which is one of Kitsap County’s largest salmon runs.

Ueland added they are continually discussing what they can do to help improve the area of Chico Creek which borders their property.

“The idea is that we will not do mining in water flows near Chico Creek,” he said.

Additional information, meeting updates, completed studies and questions can be found on the Web site at www.uelandtreefarm.com.

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