The state’s valuable tidelands commanded considerable attention in the 1889 Constitutional Convention. At the time of statehood, Washington owned more tidelands than any other state in the Union, covering more than 2,500 miles of coastline which served the vital needs of the state’s industrial and commercial interests (Wiggins I, 19). The new state also had thousands more miles of shore lands on navigable lakes and rivers. The importance of the ownership and control of tidelands and shore lands is underscored by the fact that Washington was the first state to...
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