Pope Resources' North Kitsap Lands

What's your legacy going to be? 

The Past: How we got here

In July 1853, Captain William C. Talbot arrived in Puget Sound in search of a good site for a sawmill.  Several months later, in September 1853, the San Francisco lumber company of Pope & Talbot opened the company town of Port Gamble and began operating a sawmill at the head of Gamble Bay to help meet the growing demands for logs and lumber in San Francisco and in foreign markets.


From these humble beginnings, Pope & Talbot stated its connection with Kitsap County.  For nearly 160 years, the company and its successor Pope Resources have managed timber and real estate resources within Kitsap County and created thousands of jobs that have helped power the county's economic engine.


Although the Port Gamble mill closed in 1995, Pope's commitment to resource stewardship and economic growth within Kitsap County continued well-beyond the closing of the Port Gamble mill in 1995.  In 1997, the company formed two subsidiaries, Olympic Resource Management (ORM) and Olympic Property Group (OPG).


OPG was charged with developing a long-term business plan to dispose of Pope's approximately 8,000 acres and 2.5 miles of shoreline in north Kitsap County, as well as managing the town of Port Gamble, which was named a National Historic Landmark District in 1967.


Beginning in 2003, OPG initiated an exhaustive public process involving the public, county government and stakeholder groups such as the Suquamish and S'Klallam tribes.  The goal of this process was to gather input in order to develop a plan that would create a public benefit and a lasting legacy of open space, trails, and shorelines for the public to enjoy while still making economic sense for the company.


A 2007 survey of county residents yielded fascinating information about the public use of Pope's lands in Kitsap County.  Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents said they use Pope's lands more than 10 times per year for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and other outdoor activities.


This information and other anecdotal data gathered through the public process led to two concepts: North Kitsap String of Pearls, a trail system that would link all communities in north Kitsap County; and, the North Kitsap Legacy Partnership, a visionary win-win proposal that would enable the county to acquire 7,000 acres of Pope's land in Kitsap County as open space in exchange for revised development rights to enhance the historic character of Port Gamble.


The public process and discussions around the future of Pope's holdings in Kitsap County continues today and is now called the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project.  For a narrative overview of the situation today, please see "Where we are now" section of this website.  The Milestones section of this website includes specifics about milestone dates for Pope's presence in Kitsap County.

6/27/07 Trail Meeting