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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tribute to Harvey Manning on Vimeo

Many thanks to our friends at Crest Pictures for posting this wonderful tribute to longtime NCCC leader Harvey Manning and his legacy:

A Harvey Manning Tribute from Crest Pictures on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DNR Snoqualmie Corridor plan taking shape (1)

As the high country is quite thoroughly snowed-in now, our thoughts turn to lower elevation lands and their future. In this and future posts, we'll be discussing the DNR's Snoqualmie Corridor plan with excerpts from Mike Town's article in the current issue of The Wild Cascades.We'll be moving from west to east. First some background.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources' (DNR)“Snoqualmie Corridor” planning effort is finishing an active summer of investigation into new trail and recreation opportunities on the 53,000 acres of DNR-managed lands comprising the Snoqualmie Corridor. NCCC is represented on the 17-member committee of interested citizens helping DNR with this task in these areas north and south of I-90 from Issaquah to east of North Bend.

Recreation demand is guaranteed to be high in these areas close to Seattle.

Tiger Mountain
This heavily used area with many trails is not a main focus, as it has already been the subject of past planning efforts, but the committee is seeking ways to connect it with areas farther east, particularly the Raging River area.

Raging River
Most of these 10,000 acres located southeast of Highway 18 were recently acquired by DNR. It is a “blank slate” in terms of recreation, without any trails. Logged twice and laced with old logging roads, it is still an attractive area, with plenty of room for hiker, bike and horse trails, and mostly free from clay and other unstable soils that are a problem in some other areas. The Raging River is a tributary of the Snoqualmie River, joining it just above Fall City. It has no barriers to anadromous fish, with salmon and steelhead ascending it virtually to the headwaters.

One challenge here will be to integrate trails and recreation with future timber cutting. Direct access will also be needed, since existing roads from Highway 18 could never accommodate heavy use. Fortunately there is plenty of relatively flat land near Highway 18 where a large trailhead could be built when Washington State Highways has the funds to move ahead with plans to rebuild the highway.  Current plans call for a new bridge with entrances and exits at Holder Gap (aka Tiger Summit) and a new interchange at the junction of Highway 18 and I-90. In the interim, main access to the Raging will be from the existing Rattlesnake Mountain trailhead at Snoqualmie Point Park.

Ideas for developing the recreational potential of this large area include loop trails from the Rattlesnake Ledge area at its southern end, connecting through to Highway 18, and following along the Raging River. Spur trails might be built in spots down to the river itself. The Raging is geologically unusual in never having been glaciated, with parts of the river flowing directly over bedrock, something not often seen in Cascade rivers. Other new trails could climb to views atop Taylor Mountain and connect with existing horse trails beginning at King County's Taylor Mountain Forest area.

more to come....