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Nestle donated Carnation land to county

CARNATION _ When King County approached Nestle USA

last year and asked to buy about 60 acres of their land, the corporate

offices needed to take the proposal into consideration. Last week, the

company who owns the Nestle Regional Training Center in Carnation, refused to

sell the property; instead, they decided to donate the land.

"To me, that typifies everything all the recent Earth Day activities

symbolized _ a real commitment to making the communities we live and

work in a better place," said King County Executive Ron Sims. "It is with

our heartfelt thanks that we salute Nestle for being a good corporate neighbor."

The property, which has been owned by Nestle since 1985, is a

prime ecological sanctuary in the Snoqualmie Watershed. The

county wanted to preserve the area because it is one of the few salmon

spawning areas in the Valley.

"It was a critical piece because we had three sides of the property

bordered by the Snoqualmie River," explained county spokeswoman

Elaine Kraft. "In the Snoqualmie Watershed there's limited spawning grounds

for the chinook, pink and chum salmon."

The county plans to keep the 60 acres of property

development-free and will extend its planting efforts

on the site to preserve the integrity of the riverbanks.

Previously, Carnation Farms used the land as a grazing area for

their cattle. But when Nestle converted the property to a training facility, the

need for the $235,000 parcel of land was no longer necessary and the

company felt that the county could better utilize the space.

"Nestle's commitment to be the `very best' includes giving back

in ways that are meaningful and beneficial to the communities in which

we operate," said Frank Novac, director of the Nestle Regional Training

Center. "Through this land donation, King County will work in the best

interest of the community to retain open spaces and work toward

preserving salmon habitat."

The Nestle land donation announcement was a part of

King County's Earth Legacy 2000. The program will promote seven

environmental initiatives including:

• 200,000 Trees - where 200,000 trees were planted in King County;

• Forest initiative _ create regulations that protect the forests;

• Wetland initiative _ establish consistent wetland policies and codes;

• Protecting Our Salmon _ caring for the endangered species;

• SmartGrowth _ promote growth management and land use policies;

• Earth Legacy Programs _ encourage residents to protect the

environment; and

• Partnerships _ partner with other cities to exchange information.

"Our goal is simple," Sims said. "Make sure King County is as nice

a place to live on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day as it is today."

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