MIDDLE FORK SNOQUALMIE RIVER BASIN

Recreation Enhancements
Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Basin
110,000-acre basin Access to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness More than 15,000 acres publicly preserved, with an investment of more than $18 million Middle Fork Concept Plan 1997 More than 40 miles of logging roads removed US Forest Service Middle Fork Campground built 2006 - $2 million investment Mt. Si Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) expanded 2009 Middle Fork NRCA designated 2009

Vision for the Middle Fork Snoqualmie
The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Basin boasts rugged mountain peaks, expansive forests, a magnificent glacier-fed river and prime wildlife habitat. Located only a 35-minute drive from downtown Seattle on Interstate 90 near North Bend, the Middle Fork Valley holds great potential as a major recreation destination for the population of Washington State’s largest metropolitan areas, with access into spectacular natural lands of the Mt. Si and Middle Fork Natural Resources Conservation Areas, Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, and Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Two decades of work
Once plagued by illegal dumping, target shooting and unsafe conditions, the Middle Fork Valley has been the focus of intense public acquisition, cleanup and planning for the past 20 years. In 1997, the Greenway Trust led a broad coalition of interests through an 18-month planning process for the valley and since then the land management agencies including the US Forest Service, Washington State Department of Natural Resources and King County Parks joined many conservation and recreation groups to work under the guidance of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Public Use Concept Plan to collaboratively restore the valley, conserve lands for public ownership and improve public access.

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust

mtsgreenway.org

Road to bring increased recreational use
The Federal Highways Administration has undertaken a two-year, $20 million road paving and enhancement project to the Middle Fork Road, the only road access into the valley. This project, including matching funds of $1.35 million from the Washington State Department of Transportation, will go to contract in 2013 with paving likely in 2014 and 2015. This construction will improve ecological conditions and greatly increase public access in the valley. Currently the poor condition of the road limits recreational use. It is critical to move quickly to prepare public use facilities to accommodate a flood of additional recreational users or people will create their own use patterns, causing natural resource damage and vastly overcrowded recreation areas.

A Critical Need to Improve Facilities
Land managers are working hard to fund and build new trails and day-use areas that build on work done over the past two decades, and bring significant new improvements to the Middle Fork Valley. In addition to improving recreation areas, new projects will improve the ecological health of the basin and bring more visitors, which will enhance the economic vitality of nearby communities. Washington State Department of Natural Resources opened a new Mailbox Peak trailhead in 2012, and the Greenway Trust is working on a new 5-mile trail to Mailbox Peak. In 2013, 11 miles of forest roads were decommissioned in Granite Basin, including five miles that were converted into a trail to access Granite and Thompson Lakes. Also in the works are improvements to existing day-use areas at Mine Creek and Champion Beach, and additional trails in the Middle Fork and adjacent lands accessed from I-90. On National Forest lands, work is planned on critically-needed trail and day-use area projects. An upgrade to the Dingford Creek Trailhead was completed in 2013; adding a much-needed toilet, better signs, and increased capacity at a trailhead that serves three major trails. Planned for 2014 is a new access trail to the Pratt Bar, a sunny Middle Fork beach with spectacular mountain views, and the rerouting of the Middle Fork Trail around a section that is collapsing into the river. Public land managers need community support to fund these projects. Federal and state grant resources are diminishing and have fierce competition. This work must continue. At the Greenway Trust, our approach is to find ways to leverage public funds with private donations, non-profit expertise, and volunteer energy. The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is seeking funding and other support for these projects. Please join the effort.
Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust: convening partners and acting as a catalyst of this effort Public Agencies: US Forest Service, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, King County Parks, Federal Highway Administration, City of North Bend Recreational Groups: Washington Trails Association, Mountaineers, American Whitewater, Backcountry Horsemen of Washington, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Conservation Groups: Middle Fork Outdoor Recreation Coalition, Alpine Lakes Protection Society, Forterra, Trust for Public Land, Sierra Club
MOUNTAINS TO SOUND GREENWAY TRUST, 911 WESTERN AVENUE, SUITE 203, SEATTLE, WA 98104 PHONE: 206.382.5565 – EMAIL: info@mtsgreenway.org – WEB: mtsgreenway.org

Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley Partners

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