Recreation Planning Moving Forward
By Jesse Major, Staff Writer
Implementation of a long-range plan to improve outdoor recreational opportunities and protect sensitive habitats at the same time is moving forward.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife and state Department of Natural Resources presented the project implementation priorities and phasing for the Naneum Ridge to Columbia River recreation plan to a few dozen people at the Hal Holmes Center on Thursday.
The plan will move forward in three phases over the course of the next 10 to 15 years, said Mike Williams, DNR recreation manager.
How long it will take will depend on a variety of factors, including funding, he said.
The plan will focus on developing trail systems, developing public road access and creating camping areas.
Within in the plan is a multitude of projects.
Some are clearly planned out while others are still concepts, said Scott McCorquodale, regional wildlife program manager for WDFW.
“There are elements with lots of details,” he said. “There are others that aren’t as clear.”
The State Environmental Policy Act process will be project specific and there will be various public meetings as the recreation plan is implemented and concepts behind some of the projects are flushed out.
The first phase of the recreation plan calls for evaluating and developing public road access to the Naneum Ridge State Forest from the south.
A winter non-motorized trail system will be established and a target shooting range will be developed.
The disabled hunter road access entry program will be integrated into the recreation planning area as well.
A non-motorized trail system and trailhead in the Naneum Ridge State Forest will be developed and the plan will provide seasonal support facilities at high-use dispersed use areas.
Areas damaged by recreational use also will be restored during the first phase.
The second phase calls for restoring camping-related damage along stream banks.
A motorized trailhead and trails will be developed in the Naneum Ridge State Forest and a north/south regional connector trail will be developed.
A multi-use single-track trail connector to USFS land will be developed.
Day-use facilities at three lakes in in the Stemilt Sub-Area will also be constructed.
A campground in the Naneum Ridge State Forest will be created during the last phase of the plan.
Dawson Ridge Road will be converted to a motorized trail and Pettit Road, south of the Aurther Coffin Game Reserve, will be converted to non-motorized public access only.
Some at the meeting said Pettit Road should continue to have motorized public access, since their family had been hunting in the area for more than half a century.
Parke Creek Road will be upgraded and a Green Dot Road loop in the Green Gate Sub-Area would be established.
A non-motorized trailhead in the Green Gate Sub-Area would be constructed as well.