Pacific Crest Trail gets land buffer acquisition near Norse Peak Wilderness —

Pacific Crest Trail gets land buffer acquisition near Norse Peak Wilderness

By Terry Richard
The Oregonian

A recent purchase of 808 acres surrounding 1.5 miles of thePacifc Crest Trail, with striking views of the Cascade Mountains between Pyramid Peak and Green Pass (east of Enumclaw, Wash.), will protect it from residential, commercial and industrial development.

The Trust for Public Land and the U.S. Forest Service bought the private lands in King and Kittitas counties of Washington, from Plum Creek Timber Co. The acquisition has been added to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests.

This part of the trail is just north of the Norse Peak Wilderness Area.

The $1.126 million to purchase the two properties came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the federal government’s main source of money for protecting land. The source of the money is royalties paid by energy companies for offshore oil and gas drilling. The purchase of the properties consolidates checkerboard land sections of Forest Service ownership and land that was originally granted to the Northern Pacific Railroad.

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is an internationally recognized long-distance trail, spanning 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. Hikers and equestrians come from around the world to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the route.

“This means a lot to those of us who want to provide the natural experience in the Pacific Northwest,” said Mike Dawson, trail operations director for the Pacific Crest Trail Association, in a statement. He said volunteer groups such as Backcountry Horsemen and North 350 Blades do hard manual labor to keep the trail open to the public. “This makes their work so much more valuable,” he said.

Read the complete story at The Oregonian
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