Rayonier property proposed for Hood Canal Bridge graving
PORT ANGELES -- Rayonier Inc. has submitted a proposal to state Department of Transportation officials to build the Hood Canal Bridge graving yard on the site of the company's now-demolished pulp mill.
Rayonier, encouraged by Port Angeles city leaders and City Manager Mike Quinn, moved on the proposal last week.
``They suggested it to us and we thought it was a good idea,'' said Dana Dolloff, Rayonier's environmental affairs director who in recent years has worked closely with state and Lower Elwha Klallam tribal officials in the mill site's toxic-waste cleanup.
The proposal comes fewer than three weeks after state transportation officials announced they were abandoning the $58.8 million Marine Drive graving yard site in Port Angeles after 16 months of archaeological digs that uncovered thousands of Klallam ancestral remains and ancient artifacts on the 1,700-year-old village site of Tse-whit-zen.
Archaeologists call it the largest find in Northwest history.
Village of Y'inis
Rayonier's graving yard proposal, which tribal leaders learned of last week, is on a site west of Ennis Creek on fill property adjacent to a former Klallam fishing village called Y'inis, a word which means ``good beach.''
Archaeologists hired by Rayonier after the mill closed in 1997 reported that human remains and artifacts have been found in the area.
Frances Charles, Lower Elwha Klallam tribal chairwoman, confirmed the discoveries Friday, urging that extensive tribal consultation be sought for all North Olympic Peninsula graving yard sites under consideration, including lands in or near Port Townsend.
``That's Klallam territory, in Port Townsend,'' Charles said.
The Port of Port Townsend, in partnership with Port Townsend Paper Corp., also submitted a proposal to the Department of Transportation on Friday.
``I really hope everybody does their homework and they work with the tribes to protect from what happened happening again,'' Charles said.
``They really need to be communicating with the tribe.''
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