Proposed timber sale near mudslide is deferred

OLYMPIA — A proposed timber sale near the site of last month’s deadly mudslide has been deferred.

Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources said Friday that the sale of 188 acres, approximately five miles southwest of the Oso slide, will undergo additional review to ensure there is no risk to public safety. The sale was originally set for auction next Wednesday.

A state-approved 7.5-acre timber harvest above the Oso slide has been cited by some as a possible contributing factor. Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark angered some environmentalists when he said he was convinced it was not. He later backed off that statement, saying scientists need to thoroughly study the slide before conclusions are drawn.

Federal geologists have said the timber harvest likely was not a factor in the massive mudslide on March 22.

The slide buried dozens of homes. The death toll is at 39, and four people remain listed as missing.

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