Tiger Mountain State Forest bike trail opens

September 11, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources opened a mountain bike trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest on Sept. 5 — 1.4-mile-long stretch long awaited by mountain bikers.

The result of months of construction, East Tiger Summit Mountain Bike Trail is the first new mountain bike trail built on Tiger Mountain in 20 years. The trail is accessible from the Tiger Summit Trailhead along state Route 18 southeast of Issaquah.

Department of Natural Resources planners received a pair of state Recreation and Conservation Office grants to build mountain bike trails on East Tiger Mountain and connect the path to existing trails.

The state received significant help from the nonprofit Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and volunteers to complete the project.

State opens mountain bike trail on Tiger Mountain

September 5, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Sept. 5, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources opened a mountain bike trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest on Wednesday.

The 1.4-mile East Tiger Summit Mountain Bike Trail is the first new mountain bike trail built on Tiger Mountain in 20 years.

The state joined the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance on the project. Crews from the Department of Natural Resources, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Washington Conservation Corps — as well as volunteers — dedicated hundreds of hours to support the project.

The trail is accessible from the Tiger Summit Trailhead along state Route 18 southeast of Issaquah.

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King County fire marshal extends summer burn ban

September 1, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 1, 2012

Continued dry conditions led the King County fire marshal to extend the countywide burn ban until further notice, officials announced Aug. 31.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle said August marked the driest August ever at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, with only a trace of rain recorded. (Meteorologists use data collected at the airport for official climate records in the region.)

The dry August beat the old record of 0.01 inch set in 1974.

The fire marshal — and officials in Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties — declared a regional burn ban in July. The ban was due to end Sept. 1.

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Practice fire safety during Labor Day weekend

August 28, 2012

Officials reminded the public to practice fire safety as residents head outside to celebrate Labor Day weekend.

Though the King County burn ban expires Sept. 1, other local restrictions remain in place.

Department of Natural Resources officials set a summer burn ban for Tiger Mountain State Forest and other state lands from July 1 to Sept. 30.

On state forestlands, users can build recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.

Eastside Fire & Rescue imposed a summer burn ban June 15 for residents in Issaquah, Sammamish and nearby communities. The moratorium is in effect through Sept. 30.

For Labor Day cookouts, propane, natural gas and charcoal fires do not require a burn permit.

State lands commissioner asks for help from public amid high wildfire risk

August 16, 2012

NEW — 10:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark asked for help from the public Thursday to prevent wildfires, as the risk rises on both sides of the Cascades.

“The next three days are going to be very dangerous in terms of the potential for wildfire,” he said in a statement. “That is true in Western Washington as well as Eastern Washington. It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe and not take any risks.”

The request came as the National Weather Service maintains a regional excessive heat warning for communities along Puget Sound and in the Cascade foothills. Temperatures could approach 100 degrees in Issaquah on Thursday.

The weekend forecast includes a significant risk of lightning-sparked wildfires.

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State money is available to restore fish passages

August 7, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications from small forest landowners to apply for grants to remove culverts and fish passage barriers.

Through the Family Forest Fish Passage Program, the agency has enough funding to remove about 100 additional fish blockages statewide through 2014.

Structures eligible for the program must be associated with a road crossing on forestland, on a fish-bearing stream, present a barrier to fish and be owned by a small forest landowner.

Find the online application — and a way for forest landowners to arrange fish passage evaluations — at www.surveymonkey.com/FFFPP.

State law requires forestland owners to remove barriers so salmon and other fish can migrate and reach food and spawning areas upstream, but the cost of correcting or replacing culverts can be prohibitively high for many small forest landowners.

The program has corrected 232 barriers and reconnected 485 miles of fish habitat statewide since 2003.

King County joins regional burn ban as fire risk increases

July 24, 2012

King County joined a regional burn ban July 17, after the county fire marshal joined a similar moratorium in Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.

The ban came as forecasts call for continued dry conditions and the summer fire risk increases. The ban is in place until Sept. 1.

The moratorium applies to all outdoor burning except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved campgrounds or on private property with the owner’s permission.

Under the ban, fires must be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, and not be used as debris disposal. Fires must not grow larger than 3 feet in diameter.

Fires must be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet from any structure. Fires should have a 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches.

Fires must be attended at all times, and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire should be nearby as the fire burns.

The regional moratorium joins state Department of Natural Resources and Eastside Fire & Rescue bans.

State seeks input on forest recreation from Tiger Mountain to Mount Si

July 17, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources is asking outdoors enthusiasts from Issaquah to Snoqualmie and beyond to offer input on recreation planning for the forests stretched between Tiger Mountain and Mount Si.

The agency launched a survey July 9 to collect input about future recreation opportunities on 53,000 acres in natural areas along the so-called Snoqualmie corridor in East King County.

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King County joins regional burn ban as fire risk increases

July 17, 2012

NEW — 9:30 a.m. July 17, 2012

King County joined a regional burn ban Tuesday, after the county fire marshal joined a similar moratorium in Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.

The ban came as forecasts call for continued dry conditions and the summer fire risk increases. The ban is in place until Sept. 1.

The moratorium applies to to all outdoor burning except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved camp grounds or on private property with the owner’s permission.

Under the ban, fires must be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, and not be used as debris disposal. Fires must not grow larger than 3 feet in diameter.

Fires must be located in a clear sport free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet from any structure. Fires should have a 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches.

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State launches survey about forest recreation from Tiger Mountain to Mount Si

July 9, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. July 9, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources is asking outdoors enthusiasts from Issaquah to Snoqualmie and beyond to offer input on recreation planning for the forests stretched between Tiger Mountain and Mount Si.

The agency launched a survey Monday to collect input about future recreation opportunities on 53,000 acres in natural areas along the so-called Snoqualmie corridor in East King County. The survey closes July 31.

The survey is the latest effort in the ongoing planning process for the area. In February, officials held a public open house focused on the corridor.

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.

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