Event honors late environmentalists Ruth Kees, Maureen McCarry

November 6, 2012

Environmentalist Ruth Kees and Issaquah City Councilwoman Maureen McCarry campaigned hard to preserve forested Park Pointe, and both community leaders left legacies dedicated to the slice of Tiger Mountain.

Leaders at the nonprofit Issaquah Environmental Council plan to honor the late Kees and McCarry on Nov. 11, in a public event to clear invasive plants and add native species to Park Pointe, a 101-acre tract near Issaquah High School.

Barbara Shelton, Issaquah Environmental Council secretary, said the planting event is designed to honor Kees and McCarry, and to encourage residents to explore the public land at Park Pointe.

Kees served as a longtime advocate for efforts to preserve open space and protect the Issaquah Creek watershed.

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Tiger Mountain trail development is recommended for state grant

November 1, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 1, 2012

The state Recreation Conservation Office recommended Tiger Mountain trail development — and more than 100 projects statewide — as priority projects for grants.

Funding for the Tiger Mountain trails and other projects hinges on dollars for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, a program established to conserve land and waterways.

If the $320,000 grant for Tiger Mountain is funded, the state Department of Natural Resources can develop two trails or about five miles overall in east Tiger Mountain State Forest. The project requires a $137,200 match from the Department of Natural Resources.

Leaders at the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, a nonprofit group set up to support the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, praised the project list.

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Tiger Mountain is test for commissioner of public lands candidates

October 30, 2012

Tiger Mountain is a destination for hikers, mountain bikers and loggers, and the official responsible for acting as a referee to balance the competing interests is the state commissioner of public lands.

Clint Didier

Peter Goldmark

Republican Clint Didier is challenging the incumbent, Democrat Peter Goldmark, to serve as the top natural resources official in Washington.

The commissioner of public lands leads the state Department of Natural Resources, and oversees about 3 million acres of forests, agricultural land and other properties, as well as about 2.6 million acres of shorelines, tidelands, lakes and rivers.

The position carries outsized influence in the Issaquah area. The agency is often a factor in local policymaking, due to the connections among the Department of Natural Resources, Issaquah City Hall and outdoor recreation groups.

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Summertime burn bans expire as dry spell ends

October 23, 2012

State, King County and Eastside Fire & Rescue officials ended burn bans in recent days, as the wildfire risk declined after a long dry spell.

The state Department of Natural Resources ended a burn ban on agency-protected lands at midnight Oct. 15. The next day, the King County fire marshal lifted a burn ban for unincorporated King County.

EFR kept a burn ban in place until Oct. 20 for Issaquah and communities served by the agency.

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State, King County burn bans expire after long dry spell

October 18, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 18, 2012

State and King County fire officials ended burn bans in recent days, as the wildfire risk declined after a long dry spell.

The state Department of Natural Resources ended a burn ban on agency-protected lands at midnight Monday. The next day, the King County fire marshal lifted a burn ban for unincorporated King County.

Eastside Fire & Rescue is keeping a burn ban in place through Oct. 20 for Issaquah and communities served by the agency.

The state ban on outdoor burning applied to all Department of Natural Resources-protected public, private and tribal lands, including Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issaquah.

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Statewide burn ban expires at midnight as fire risk falls

October 15, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Oct. 15, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources said the statewide burn ban on agency-protected lands is poised to expire at midnight Monday as the wildfire risk declines.

“My thanks to the public for their help and restraint during a difficult and prolonged fire season,” state Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a statement. “The summer’s fires could have been a worse, but the public did everything they could to prevent wildfires.”

The ban on outdoor burning applied to all Department of Natural Resources-protected public, private and tribal lands, including Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issaquah.

Lifting the statewide burn ban does not prevent authorities from putting in place burn restrictions at the local level.

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Firefighters wear pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 11, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 11, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue employees and firefighters plan to don pink shirts from Oct. 17-19 to show support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The agency joins the International Association of Firefighters and many other local and national groups in the fight against cancer. In the United States, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, according to the American Cancer Society.

“No one is outside the reach of cancer,” EFR Chief Lee Soptich said in a statement. “Whether personally afflicted or in support of friends, family, neighbors or coworkers, most of us have experienced the impacts of cancer, and feel it a privilege to be associated with this worthy cause.”

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Department of Natural Resources extends burn ban — again

October 4, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Oct. 4, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources took the unprecedented step of extending the statewide burn ban through Oct. 15, more than a week after the earlier burn ban extension had been set to expire.

Officials attributed the longer ban to a prolonged stretch of unusually dry weather in Western Washington since July and extreme risk of wildfire.

The ban on outdoor burning applies to all Department of Natural Resources-protected public, private and tribal lands, including Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issaquah.

National Weather Service forecasters expect the current danger of extreme fire weather in Western Washington to continue into the weekend. Washington has had no measurable rain in August, and September ranked as the third driest on record.

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Celebrate National Public Lands Day on Tiger Mountain

September 25, 2012

Washingtonians can celebrate National Public Lands Day in the Tiger Mountain State Forest, other state forestlands or at national parks.

The state Department of Natural Resources said the lineup for National Public Lands Day, Sept. 29, includes a mountain bike trail construction event on Tiger Mountain.

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Driver dies in fiery tractor-trailer crash on Tiger Mountain

September 25, 2012

Flames engulfed a tractor-trailer early Sept. 21, as a crash near the Tiger Mountain summit along state Route 18 left the 60-year-old driver dead.

Washington State Patrol investigators identified the driver as a 60-year-old Pacific man but did not release his name, pending notification of family members.

Police said the accident occurred as the FedEx rig, a tractor hauling a pair of trailers, veered off the westbound lanes about six miles southeast of downtown Issaquah at about 6 a.m. Sept. 21.

The truck struck a tree about 20 feet from the road shoulder and then burst into flames. Fire engulfed the cab and spread to surrounding brush and trees.

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