* As reported in the Kitsap Sun by: Christopher Dunagan
An easement purchased by the Navy to prevent commercial development on Hood Canal is illegal, according to a lawsuit filed in state and federal courts.
The lawsuit was initiated by Hood Canal Sand and Gravel, owner of the proposed “pit-to-pier” gravel-mining project in Jefferson County.
The restrictive easement, for which the Navy paid the state $720,000, extends along the shoreline from the Hood Canal bridge to just south of the Jefferson-Mason County line near Eldon. The easement is designed to protect the Navy’s military operations on Hood Canal while also protecting the environment, according to officials with the Navy and state Department of Natural Resources.
The Navy, DNR and officials within the two agencies were named in the lawsuit filed in both U.S. District Court and Jefferson County Superior Court.