Dec. 15: Help Plan Morning Star Trails
DNR could add new trails in the area. Morning Star NRCA is home to popular hiking destinations in Snohomish County like Gothic Basin, Ashland Lakes and Bald Mountain.
As demand for close-to-home hiking opportunities continues to increase, Washington's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is planning to add new trails in Snohomish County.
The recently-announced Morning Star Natural Resource Conservation Area trail planning process begins December 15. The agency plans to evaluate the existing trails and potentially expand the trail network in the area. The Morning Star NRCA is home to popular hiking destinations in Snohomish County like Gothic Basin, Ashland Lakes and Bald Mountain.
Finding a balanced approach
"Trust lands are managed to generate revenue for trust beneficiaries, and in 2015 $161 million was distributed to Washington schools, counties, and other beneficiaries,” said acting statewide Recreation Manager, Glenn Glover, at a meeting with hikers in Bellingham earlier this fall. “But we also recognize the economic and social value of outdoor recreation for rural communities."
DNR lands have been a destination for outdoor recreation for nearly as long as they have been working or conservation lands. (The agency has a mandate to protect the state's environment in addition to hosting agricultural uses like growing hops or timber harvests.)
“Statewide, we have about 1,100 miles of designated trails, but that's just a fraction of the trails on DNR lands. We're realists,” Glenn said. “We know if we shut down a popular social trail, another one will pop up, so we work with stakeholders and prioritize a balanced approach to the trails system.”
Attend the kick-off meeting, and take DNR's survey
DNR’s goal is to create a sustainable trail system hikers can enjoy for generations to come. As a hiker, your feedback will be a critical part of this project. Consider attending the kick-off meeting for the Morning Star project so you can learn how to help.
6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15
Cavelero Mid High School cafeteria
8220 24th Street Southeast
Lake Stevens, WA 98258
Other ways to get involved
- Take a survey (scroll to the bottom of the page) about how you hike in the Cascades.
- Learn more about the project on DNR's website.