Speak Up for Trails in the I-90 Corridor
The Forest Service needs to hear from you about a timber harvest proposal that could impact trails in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest: the Hansen Creek project.
Washington Trails Association has been monitoring an issue that could affect hikers along a popular corridor of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Forest management—including timber harvest—is an important part of having a healthy forest, but this needs to be balanced with protecting recreation and trails. The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is one of the most visited national forests in the country, and the trails surrounding I-90 comprise the Mountains to Sound Greenway, likely the most popular recreation corridor in the state, offering unique opportunities to enjoy mountain views, wildflowers and alpine lakes.
The Hansen Creek project would increase logging activities adjacent to six trails within the project area: the Pratt Lake, Talapus Lake, Ira Spring, Annette Lake, McClellan Butte and John Wayne trails.
What the Hansen Creek project proposes
The Forest Service's Proposed Action on the Hansen Creek Vegetation Project would occur over a span of six years and includes:
- Harvesting trees across a total areas of approximately 1,347 acres with trees ranging from 40 to 120 years old between exits 38 and 47 on Interstate 90;
- Tree harvesting would take place next to the Pratt Lake/Granite Mountain, Ira Spring, Talapus Lake, McClellan Butte and John Wayne trails;
- The beginning of the Ira Spring trail would be converted to a road to haul logs (the trailbed is a former road); and
- Trail and road closures to recreation sites would be closed when tree harvesting activities are taking place in the area.
How you can help
The Forest Service needs to hear from you about a timber harvest proposal that could impact trails in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Use your voice for trails along the I-90 corridor by the end of the day Friday, March 27.
Reducing impact to trail users
Here's what we're asking the Forest Service to consider:
- Remove the Ira Spring Trail from use as a road during the project because it would eliminate access to this trail.
- Avoid timber harvest close to the Pratt Lake, Ira Spring and McClellan Butte trails.
- Reduce closure periods and plan logging activities for non-peak recreation seasons.
- Set back proposed logging to reduce visual impact for hikers and other outdoor recreationists.
- Ensure trails are in the same condition or better when the project is complete.
Tell the Forest Service what this area means to you. We've drafted a letter to get you started, but it will have more impact if you add your story, so make sure to add your personal comments.