As Washington continues to grow, many of our most beautiful areas are threatened with development. In addition, native ecosystems are receding, and important wildlife habitat and migratory pathways are being cut off. The Natural Areas category helps combat this by funding projects that protect wildlife habitat and rare geological features while also preserving public access for back-country recreation.
Mount Si is an extremely popular conservation area due to its close proximity (25 minutes) to the Seattle urban area. Primary features include critical wildlife habitat, scenic views and hiking trails. It provides important travel corridors and habitat for a diversity of wildlife including: mountain goats, bears, coyotes, cougar, bobcat, deer, elk, and a variety of birds and small mammals. It is a prominent scenic landscape along the I-90 corridor and an important part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway. The remaining 3,200 acres of private properties proposed for acquisition are threatened with conversion to incompatible and ecologically irreversible uses such as mining, residential, and commercial lodges. These proposed additions to the NRCA will help connect the NRCA and other natural areas in the Cascade Range to enhance the NRCA’s role as a connecting corridor in a regional system of natural areas. The development portion of this proposal is to enhance visitor use and safety, improve aesthetics, control access, construct connector trail between Little Si and Mt. Si trail systems, and complete Little Si Trailhead development.