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.
March 11, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 5, 2013
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.
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.
February 6, 2013
NEW — 6 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013
Parkgoers can participate in challenges, enjoy the outdoors and burn some calories as King County Parks rolls out a fitness program at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and other sites.
Countywide, organizers designed 30 challenge locations countywide for the King County Parks Fitness Challenge.
The challenge — initially created through a partnership with Group Health’s Fitness Network for county employees — is available to the public.
“The public can also enjoy the parks fitness challenge as a great way to exercise while enjoying some of the 26,000 acres of parks, 175 miles of regional trails and 180 miles of backcountry trails that we proudly maintain,” King County Parks Director Kevin Brown said in a statement.
January 15, 2013
King County voters could decide soon on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.
Late last year, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.
The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Dow Constantine convened the task force to explore options for future funding.