Join state planning for forest recreation from Tiger Mountain to Mount Si

January 10, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Eastside residents and outdoor recreation enthusiasts can offer input Jan. 18 as the state Department of Natural Resources starts collecting feedback for the forested lands stretching from Tiger Mountain to Mount Si.

The state agency is readying for future recreation opportunities on 53,000 acres in natural areas along the so-called Snoqualmie corridor in East King County. The open house is meant to continue the public planning process.

The corridor — a quick jaunt from Seattle and fast-growing Eastside cities — is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers and more. Combined, the lands in the corridor form the largest network of natural areas in Washington.

Get involved

State Department of Natural Resources Snoqualmie Corridor recreation plan open house

In the past 20 years, the Department of Natural Resources added the amount of land managed in the area. The more recent acquisitions include the Raging River State Forest and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area. The land under state management includes working forests.

The state purchased the Raging River land in 2009 to replace state trust lands transferred out of trust status. The commissioner of public lands designated the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area as such in 2009.

Though the public planning effort is focused for the most part on developing recreation management plans for the Raging River and Middle Fork Snoqualmie sites, the complex process is enmeshed in other management plans for Tiger Mountain State Forest, West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area, Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area and Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area.

Land in the corridor is also managed under a patchwork of federal, state and local entities. Though the Department of Natural Resources can only plan for agency-managed land, the process is meant to increase coordination between the agency and other landowners.

Moreover, the recreation management plans must balance public safety, environmental protection and access to outdoor recreation opportunities.

In recent months, Department of Natural Resources officials started gathering input about recreation in the Snoqualmie corridor. The open house is the latest step in the planning process.

Officials plan for the meeting to include a brief presentation from agency staffers and then opportunities for participants to share ideas.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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