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7,000 Acres to be Protected in Greenway

Posted by Andrew Engelson at May 05, 2009 03:50 PM |

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The Mountains to Sound Greenway, that expanse of wild space from Puget Sound to the eastern crest of the Cascades along the I-90 corridor, has been in the news lately.

Greenway map

The biggest news: about 7,000 acres of land between Tiger Mountain, Taylor Mountain and Rattlesnake Ridge will be protected as public land. According to a report in the Seattle Times, the final purchase price hasn't been negotiated, but a deal for the State Department of Natural Resources to purchase the property from Fruit Growers Supply is imminent. King County is playing a big role in the purchase, with up to $3.7 million in appropriated funds proposed to help DNR complete the sale.

The purchase fills in a key piece of the checkerboard of private and public lands in the greenway. The property is at the headwaters of the Raging River, and would provide important new wildlife habitat and potentially, new hiking opportunities. Taylor, Tiger and Rattlesnake are some of the more popular day hiking destinations in Western Washington.

In other news, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust announced it will be working with DNR to build a new trail to Kamikaze Falls in the Mount Si Natural Resource Conservation Area. For many years, the only way to the falls has been a user-built bootleg trail that DNR has kept closed to stop erosion and resource damage. "This new trail will prevent future ecological damage and provide a safe and enjoyable hiking experience," said Kelly Heintz of DNR in a press release.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust will be conducting volunteer work parties to build the new trail on Saturdays in May and mid June. To sign up, visit the Greenway website.

If you're interested in hearing more about the future of the Greenway, you might want to attend a public town hall forum tomorrow evening. Sponsored by the King County Council, panelists will include Bill Chapman, president of the Mountains To Sound Greenway Trust, Doug McClelland from DNR, and WTA's executive director Elizabeth Lunney. The event is Wed. May 6 from 6-8 p.m. at the South Bellevue Community Center at 14509 SE Newport Way in Bellevue.