As a result of judicial and executive intervention, the traditional economic base of timber harvesting was seriously undermined in the late 1980s. The Forks Economic Development Steering Committee pushed forward with an innovative idea, the creation of industrial park centered around timber products. Today, the industrial park is a reality, and when operation begins in early 1995 forty-two (42) new jobs will be created by Portac in the FUGA. In addition, FEDSC is actively marketing the industrial park to other manufacturers.
Another sector that has direct economic impact upon the FUGA is that of the public sector. The U.S. Forest Service, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Quillayute School District, and the Clallam Bay Correctional Facilities are major employers, employing people from the FUGA. As both State and federal government budgets decline, the Forest Service, Quillayute School District and the Department of Natural Resources have seen a decline in new hires, as well as the number of staff employed in the westend of Clallam County. However, the Clallam Bay Correctional Facilities has seen an increase in staff, and it is believed that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
Additional efforts have been sought to diversify the economic base of the Forks urban growth area (FUGA). One area of increased revenue is tourism. While tourism revenues have increased every year, and the number of visitors has grown by astronomical amounts, there is a significant concern that a tourist based economy may result in lower wage jobs and cyclical employment.
Thus, the FUGA is keenly aware of the need to diversify its economic base. This element of the Comprehensive Plan for the FUGA lays out the goals associated with economic development. Attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter as Attachment A is the FEDSC 1995 Action Plan, which was used to develop the goals within this element. In addition, Clallam County’s 2020 Vision Task Force had developed a twenty-eight (28) year strategic plan. This Clallam County Economic Development Strategic Plan: for year’s 1992-2020 has also been used in drafting this element.