Developer looks at Ennis conservation easement


Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES -- Ennis Creek would be preserved to restore salmon habitat if California developer Jerry Ward's dream of a world class resort on the former Rayonier mill site is realized.

Ward proposes a $120 million, 322-unit timeshare condominium project with an exotic water park, aquarium and 750-space parking garage on 75 acres of Rayonier's property in East Port Angeles.

``If North Olympic Land Trust wants a conservation easement -- then by all means,'' said Ward, who met Wednesday with Pete Schroeder, North Olympic Land Trust chairman, who approached Ward about the proposal.

``I want to see salmon back in the stream,'' Ward said.

The mouth of Ennis Creek has already been cleaned up as part of its environmental remediation of the former pulp mill site, which is being cleansed of toxic wastes under the supervision of the state Department of Ecology.

The trust has established a conservation easement in Ennis Creek's watershed a few miles upstream from the former mill site, through an agreement with land owners Jim and Robbie Mantooth.

Ward, who proposes an aquarium and marine research center on his proposed development, said bringing salmon back to Ennis Creek would be important to the marine center.

``It begins to limit the use of the land,'' Ward said, ``and we have to address our project around these different issues.''


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