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News Briefs

Shellfish hearing moved to June 14

The Taylor Shellfish proposed floating oyster bag proposal in Oakland Bay has been moved to 1 p.m. June 14 at Mason County Building 1.

According to the agenda on the hearing examiner’s website, Taylor Shellfish is applying for a shoreline substantial development and shoreline conditional use permit to grow Pacific oysters and install a floating oyster bag system in Oakland Bay. The system will use an estimated 9.1 acres of surface water within a 50-acre area for the floating oyster gear.

Also seeking public comment is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle. The organization posted a public notice May 19 for the Department of Army Permit for Taylor Shellfish’s floating oyster bag farm.

According to a flyer mailed out by the Corps of Engineers, Taylor Shellfish is proposing to install and maintain 30 pairs of synthetic rope lines, each pair 1,800 feet long, across 9.1 subtidal acres of Oakland Bay. Rope line pairs would connect the tops and bottoms of a row of plastic mesh bags with each bag between a pair of floats above and below the bag. Rope line pairs will be arranged 20 to 30 feet apart across the 50-acre site.

The bag will be used for oyster seed and oyster growing cultivation and the purpose of the project is to provide shellfish to eat, according to the flyer.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District has posted the public notice for review and comment at, under the heading “Open Public Comment Period” and selecting “Regulatory Public Notices.”

If you wish to comment and do not have internet access and would like to request a paper copy of the notice, contact Rory Lee at 206-427-0732. Comments must be received by June 18.

Quinault area summer closures

Olympic National Park and National Forest visitors should be aware of closures and projects in the Lake Quinault area that could affect summer plans.

According to a news release, the Olympic National Park visitor and wilderness information will be available at the Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station on North Shore Road will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting this weekend through Labor Day. Wilderness permits and bear cans will be issued during operation hours.

The Olympic National Forest visitor information will be at the Quinault Ranger Station on South Shore Road from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting today. Park service wilderness permits and bear cans cannot be issued or returned to this location.

The park roads will have some changes, including visitors not being able to complete the entire Quinault loop from either direction. North Shore Road will be closed at milepost 14.5. Graves Creek Road will open today after initial bridge repairs are complete. The road will close in early August to complete bridge repairs, with more bridge repairs in the area occurring throughout the summer. Visitors are urged to use caution with single-lane closures and temporary delays.

Campground changes include North Fork campground and trailheads accessible by driving North Shore Road. Graves Creek Road campground and trailhead can be accessed by North Shore Road after today. Willaby and Falls Creek campgrounds remain closed due to hazardous trees.

The boat launch at Willaby campground will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday, starting Friday, and will accommodate boat-launch-access only. Parking will only be allowed in the boat launch area. Visitors are reminded that Lake Quinault is managed by the Quinault Indian Nation and permits can be purchased at the Rain Forest Resort and Quinault Mercantile, both at South Shore Road. The boat launch at Fall Creek campground is closed year-round.

For more information, visit

Forest welcomes acting supervisor

Olympic National Forest announced Al Watson will be the acting Forest Supervisor while Forest Supervisor Kelly Lawrence takes an extended leave of absence to support family needs.

According to a news release, Watson arrived at the forest Monday and the two have been working together to ensure a smooth transition. Watson has been the district ranger for the Kern River Ranger District in the Sequoia National Forest in California for more than 10 years.

Commissioners approve bargaining agreements

Mason County commissioners approved collective bargaining agreements with two separate groups at the Tuesday meeting.

According to the information packet, the first bargaining agreement was with the Teamsters Union Local No. 252 Mason County Community Family Health. The agreement was reached for January through December 2026, and it is noted and commended to the commissioner’s that the parties reached this agreement thorugh a collaborative negotiations process.

The other agreement was reached with Mason County and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Woodworkers Local Lodge W38 I.A.M.

Commissioner Randy Neatherlin applauded both sides for their efforts in reaching an agreement.

“I want to give a special thank you to our staff for all their hard work and to the unions themselves,” Neatherlin said during the meeting. “They’ve been great partners to work with, here are two more that have been satisfied. For those that are keeping track, that’s seven of them that we’ve done this last year. We’ve really done a great job, our staff has done an exceptional job working together.”


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