Olympic National Park Asked to Buy Out Mining Claims

Olympic National Park continues to remain in the news over land-management issues. Earlier this fall the park made headlines when an Indian tribe closed access to a national park trail and a beach within the park in protest over stalled negotiations to find land that could accommodate the tribe’s village, which is in a tsunami zone.
Now three brothers who own rights to deposits of gold, platinum, oil and natural gas beneath the park’s Shi Shi Beach are threatening to sell those rights to mining interests unless the National Park Service agrees to buy them for $30 million. An agent for the family told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that the mineral deposits and oil and gas are worth a combined $2 billion.
Park officials, whose total budget for 2004 amounted to just $10 million, say they are trying to determine the value of the claims that the brothers’ grandfather bought in 1928.