A federal judge has dismissed a challenge to a Hood Canal land deal between the Navy and Washington state.
TACOMA —A federal judge has dismissed a challenge to a Hood Canal land deal between the Navy and Washington state.
The challenge was brought by a sand and gravel company, Thorndyke Resources, which hopes to build a pier for loading barges about three miles south of the Hood Canal bridge.
Last year, the Navy bought a 50-year marine-conservation easement from the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The deal, covering 4,800 acres of land below the low-tide mark, was designed to prevent further commercial development along the shoreline and protect the Navy’s ability to operate in the area.
Thorndyke sued on a variety of legal grounds, saying the Navy exceeded its land-acquisition authority and discriminated against the company by barring commercial development while allowing residential uses. In a ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle rejected those arguments.
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The DNR and a citizen group called the Hood Canal Coalition praised the ruling in a news release Thursday, saying it will preserve the area’s ecosystem.
The proposed pier is one of several Hood Canal projects the Navy has worked to block, deeming them threats to national security.