Logging company submits new filing for Squak Mountain

April 9, 2013

By Peter Clark

Erickson Logging Inc. turned in a new application April 2 to the state Department of Natural Resources, seeking logging rights to Squak Mountain, not two weeks after the removal of its first.

The revised forest practices application differentiates itself from the former in several key areas. The most notable change is the halving of projected harvest acreage, from 195 acres of the parcel’s available 216 to 95 acres.

It also stipulates that the steep gradient of the land will necessitate extra equipment, something the previous application failed to list. In addition, the proposed road construction needed was greatly reduced, from 3,800 to 1,900 feet.

Dave Kappler, co-founder of Save Squak, a group dedicated to preserving the natural landscape, maintained his stance to keep logging away from the slope’s environment and residences.

“I’m sure they’ve been working with the DNR,” he said of the new application. “It’s definitely less than before, but of the 95 acres, they still plan to clear cut 95 percent of it.”

He also said that there were still flooding concerns due to the clear cut, citing an expected detrimental impact in the area below the parcel.

Potential flooding and environmental ramifications have caused unease for residents in the area. They have lobbied King County to purchase the land from Erickson Logging, in line with the government’s dedication to protect green space in the region.

The department set a due date for its decision to approve the application by May 2. In the meantime, a citizen’s group from King County will take a tour at the end of the month in order to determine its recommendation to the council on whether the county should purchase the Squak Mountain land.

Interested citizens can email comments to Forest Practices within the Department of Natural Resources at fpd@dnr.wa.gov.

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