A plan to salvage potentially valuable logs from the bottom of Lake Washington has been proposed by a state senator.

Underwater old-growth logs, which may include valuable 1,000-year-old cedar, originally sank in landslides or after falling off barges.

Senator Ken Jacobsen’s proposal could generate funds for the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington.

The sunken timber does not rot because of low oxygen levels in deep water, while the sap is replaced with minerals, making the wood harder. Salvage experts estimate that retrieval will cost about US$5,000-6,000 per day, with logs potentially worth thousands of dollars each.

But doubts remain because of the difficulty of extracting logs and the need to meet environmental regulations.