Tempers flare over Talus tree removal

April 29, 2014

The city of Issaquah stopped the removal of Talus neighborhood trees April 27 after residents cried foul.

Work began in the beginning of April to take out some tall trees blocking the view of residents. While the Talus Residential Association remains confident it took all necessary steps to remove the trees, some homeowners remain unconvinced.

“People have been pretty adamant about clearing those trees to have a better view of the lake,” said Talus resident Chad Fletcher said, who is angry about the removal. “Those particular trees were there and always were there.”

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Talus expansion among comp plan considerations

April 15, 2014

King County The outlined area west of the Talus urban village indicates where developers hope to expand the residential subdivision. Talus Management Services have asked for the city to consider annexing the portion, which currently sits in unincorporated King County.

King County
The outlined area west of the Talus urban village indicates where developers hope to expand the residential subdivision. Talus Management Services have asked for the city to consider annexing the portion, which currently sits in unincorporated King County.

Another annexation will face consideration since the Issaquah City Council approved the docket for a comprehensive plan update April 7.

Developers want to expand the Talus urban village by adding another 49.2 acres to the city. The plan received scrutiny during the March 11 Land & Shore Committee meeting.

“The Talus Management Services request is for an expansion area,” city Long Range Planning Manager Trish Heinonen said. “It has developed all its area, but it still has entitlements left over.”

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Council OKs large list of possible comprehensive plan updates

April 15, 2014

The Issaquah City Council expects a big update to the city’s comprehensive plan in 2015.

During its April 7 regular meeting, the council approved docket of proposed changes to the plan. There are 19 items, which the administration will investigate whether to include them into the state-mandated plan.

Comprehensive plans are required by state law to include expectations for land use, housing, growth targets, utilities, capital facilities and more.

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New art installation recalls Cougar Mountain’s coal mining past

March 11, 2014

By Kate Smigiel  Artist Hans Baumann spreads bio-carbon, a black charcoal often used as a fertilizer for agricultural crops and ornamental plants such as orchids, as part of a large-scale art installation on Cougar Mountain.

By Kate Smigiel
Artist Hans Baumann spreads bio-carbon, a black charcoal often used as a fertilizer for agricultural crops and ornamental plants such as orchids, as part of a large-scale art installation on Cougar Mountain.

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is now home to a unique land-art installation that pays tribute to the area’s coal mining past.

The project, entitled “Black Forest (29,930,000 tons),” is spread across the forest floor in the form of nearly 50,000 pounds of biochar, environmentally friendly charcoal that appears similar to the coal that was once mined from the mountain.

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County art project needs installation volunteers

February 18, 2014

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park will soon host a unique art installation that honors its past, while nurturing its future.

4Culture and the King County Parks and Recreation Division present Black Forest [29,930,000 tons], a land-art project created by Seattle-based artist Hans Baumann.

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Issaquah History Museums presents ‘Cougar Mountain in the Cold War’ on Saturday

January 17, 2014

NEW — Noon Jan. 17, 2014

The Issaquah History Museums will host its first program of 2014 with its presentation of “Cougar Mountain in the Cold War: Issaquah’s NIKE Missile Base.”

Local expert Doug Bristol will present the story of the strategic missile site that was located on the site of present-day Radar Park in the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

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Renamed Whittaker trail honors American climbing legend

October 1, 2013

It may not be Mount Everest, but it’s still an honor.

King County Executive Dow Constantine stood with the first American to climb Earth’s tallest mountain to unveil new names for the Wilderness Peak Trail that winds its way up the southeastern side of Cougar Mountain Sept. 26.

Jim Whittaker, a Seattle native, whipped the burlap off the wooden signs that led the way to the new Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail and the Nawang Gombu Wilderness Cliffs Trail, named after Whittaker’s Sherpa, who braved all 29,000 feet with him. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the historic ascent. A year later, Gombu climbed to the summit again, becoming the first person to make the trip twice.

On a simple wooden bridge, extending over a calm stream, Tibetan prayer flags flapped as Constantine praised Whittaker and Gombu’s bravery.

By Peter Clark Jim Whittaker (right) kisses a picture of his deceased Sherpa partner Nawang Gombu as King County Executive Dow Constantine shares the moment. The two unveiled the new names of trails on Cougar Mountain after Whittaker and Gombu, who climbed Mount Everest 50 years ago.

By Peter Clark
Jim Whittaker (right) kisses a picture of his deceased Sherpa partner Nawang Gombu as King County Executive Dow Constantine shares the moment. The two unveiled the new names of trails on Cougar Mountain after Whittaker and Gombu, who climbed Mount Everest 50 years ago.

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King County will honor climbing legends Jim Whittaker and Nawang Gombu by renaming trails tomorrow

September 25, 2013

NEW — 1 p.m. Sept. 25, 2013

Join King County Executive Dow Constantine and mountaineering legend Jim Whittaker as King County honors Whittaker and climbing partner Sherpa Nawang Gombu for their historic ascent of Mount Everest 50 years ago.

Meet at noon Sept. 26 at the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Wilderness Peak Trailhead, 10245 Renton-Issaquah Road S.E.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Whittaker-Gombu ascent of Mount Everest, when Whittaker, a Seattle native, became the first American to summit Earth’s highest mountain. It was also Gombu’s first ascent of Everest; a few years later, he became the first person to conquer Mount Everest for a second time.

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Clear-cut looms between Squak, Cougar mountains

March 5, 2013

By Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times Helen Farrington worries about flooding on May Creek (seen at left), which runs past her backyard.

By Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times
Helen Farrington worries about flooding on May Creek (seen at left), which runs past her backyard.

More than two decades after battles over logging in spotted-owl habitat began to die down, plans to clear-cut trees next to a county park near Issaquah have ignited a new controversy.

As with most anything having to do with real estate, it boils down to location, location, location.

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Squak Mountain timber plan concerns conservationists, neighbors

February 8, 2013

NEW — 12:05 p.m. Feb. 8, 2013

High on Squak Mountain, pink plastic strips tied to trees mark 216 acres of forest as a timber harvest area.

Since a timber company purchased the forest and started the process to permit logging on the site, conservationists and nearby residents mobilized to fight the proposal to clear cut the land. The logging opponents said cutting trees on the land could lead to more flooding downhill, damage sensitive fish and wildlife habitat, and add a timber harvest site near conservation lands.

The proposal from Eatonville-based Erickson Logging to harvest timber on 216 acres on the mountainside above Renton-Issaquah Road Southeast galvanized residents on Squak Mountain and near May Creek, a destination for runoff from the mountain.

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