Now that the Whatcom County Council has voted 5 to 2 to take control of nearly 9,000 acres of land around Lake Whatcom from the state, the county might soon contain one of the largest parks in the country. The vote occurred during the council’s March 12 meeting after a public comment session that lasted several hours.
The state Board of Natural Resources must still approve the land transfer.
Proponents favored the transfer in order to preserve forest, open up new land for recreational activities and protect Bellingham’s water supply. But opponents questioned just how much the transfer will end up costing, and raised concerns that nearby property taxes could increase.