State to sell former island park to Squaxin Island tribe

Washington State Parks will sell a former state park to the Squaxin Island Tribe, which forced the park’s closure more than two decades ago.

The Kitsap Sun reported that the parks commission on Thursday unanimously approved the sale of the former Squaxin Island State Park in Mason County to the tribe for $45,000.

The tribe cut off public access to the 31-acre property 22 years ago. Lacking road access, the only way to visit the largely wooded park was by boat.

The tribe owns the tidelands, which it had leased to the park system shortly after the property was acquired for $66,000 in 1965. The tribe decided not to renew the tideland lease after it expired in 1993 following conflicts with park managers and park users.