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DNR Starts Planning For Snoqualmie Corridor

Posted by Jonathan Guzzo at Feb 13, 2012 10:45 AM |
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The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has kicked off its recreation planning process for the Snoqualmie Corridor. A 12-member planning committee will help inform the decision-making process and is currently taking applications.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has kicked off its recreation planning process for the Snoqualmie Corridor. The process is intended to culminate in a plan to manage DNR recreation, conservation and trust lands in one of the most heavily-used landscapes in state.

The Snoqualmie Corridor planning area encompasses Tiger Mountain State Forest, Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, the Middle Fork NRCA and the Raging River State Forest. This is a huge landscape threaded with trails, and the process will take some time. But the potential payoff for hikers of being engaged from the beginning will be equally as large.

A February open house run by DNR held presented a bird's-eye view of the many places that DNR manages in the corridor. The one point that became immediately clear is that DNR is bound by any number of agreements, land designations and historical uses within the planning area. Those obligations make it impossible for the agency to accommodate certain kinds of recreation in the corridor - for instance, motorized uses. But some types of fast-growing recreation might find new opportunities. For instance, the Raging River State Forest potentially has room for new mountain-bike opportunities, as well as increased equestrian activity.

It's too early to tell what is specifically going to happen here. It's possible that we will see some new trail connections develop between popular areas. For instance, connecting the Snoqualmie Ridge Community to the forest via trails, adding trail connections on the west side of Mount Si, and connecting Grand Ridge with Duthie Hill and East Tiger are all potentially on the table.

Much of the decision-making around this process will be informed by a Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Planning Committee, a 12-member group for which DNR is taking applications through February 15. We encourage hikers to apply. Getting involved on a committee like this one can be very rewarding. And if you're interested in commenting or being kept in the loop on what DNR is doing in the corridor, sign up here to receive updates.