911 call helps catch suspected thieves at Washington's Woodard Bay NRCA

Visitors provide eyes and ears for protecting valuable natural areas

Recently, an alert visitor noticed two men kicking in the door of the interpretive facility “skid shack” at Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). The visitor called 911. A Thurston County sheriff’s deputy responded and arrested the two men for breaking and entering as well as drug possession.

This is a fine example of how alert citizens can help law enforcement and managers respond to vandalism and theft occurring on public lands, and in their neighborhoods.

Woodard Bay NRCA has important historic and natural assets to be protected. DNR, contractors and volunteers continue to restore the natural area’s sensitive wildlife habitat and it is treasured as a peaceful place to visit by area residents and visitors.

The skid shack is a restored historic building that was once moved around on train cars between railroad logging camps. At Woodard Bay, the skid shack was the foreman’s office at a time when logs were dropped by train into the bay, formed into ‘booms’ and towed to mills in Everett, While it contains nothing of great monetary value, but the interpretive signs and displays inside the building help us understand a different time at Woodard Bay. The skid shack only is open to the public by request or when staff are on site.

We appreciate that neighbors, visitors and site stewards help DNR staff protect the precious features of Woodard Bay by keeping an eye on the site and reporting problems.

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