Board approves purchase of school trust land

OLYMPIA — The Washington state Board of Natural Resources has approved the purchase of nearly 3,400 acres of irrigated farm land in Benton County for the school construction trust.

The $11.3 million purchase from Sandpiper Tree Farm LLC includes water rights and irrigation systems. The property adjoins other state trust lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources.

The department manages more than 5.6 million acres of forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation and aquatic lands, with revenue used to support public school construction statewide.

The department said in a statement Tuesday that the new property is expected to produce between $1.2 million and $1.5 million in new revenue annually once it is fully developed for row crops, orchards and vineyards.

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