Harstine Island residents are in favor of preserving one of the most pristine beaches on the Island but opposed to any transaction that would lead to the development of Fudge Point into a State Park campground or a residential development that has also been proposed. Tuesday night, officials with State Parks and Recreation Commission summarized the options they are pursuing that would lead to the purchase of 55 acres along the water now owned by the Trust for Public Lands (TPL). State Parks is considering a land swap with the private owner of the Fudge Point property, trading a portion of Harstine Island State Park for the upland property adjacent to the TPL-owned Fudge Point waterfront property. Those 200 acres would then be developed into a campground or have other amenities that could generate funds that would be used to purchase to beach from TPL for $2.2 Million. Steve Hahn, Lands Program Manager for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, presented four options to more than 100 people Tuesday night at the Harstine Island Community Hall. Those options included an acre for acre trade, trading smaller acreages, buying the property outright, or just buying the 55-acre beach from the Trust for Public Lands.

None of the options sat well with those in attendance. Many who testified during the public hearing told the Parks Commission to leave things alone.

Concerns were also voiced about the park’s compatibility with commercial shellfish harvesting in the area of Fudge Point.

Hahn did point out that they have an obligation to purchase the Fudge Point Beach from TPL.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is accepting written comments on the Fudge Point property which is on the east side of Harstine Island. Comments can be sent to Parks Development Service Center, PO Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650 or emailed to Steve.Hahn@parks.wa.gov. A decision on how the Parks and Recreation Commission will proceed isn’t expected until possibly May. The Commission has a meeting scheduled for March 29 in Port Townsend and anyone wishing to testify on the Fudge Point proposal will be allowed to speak at that meeting.