Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Safety first at Mailbox Peak in Middle Fork Snoqualmie

Guest post by Diana Lofflin

Can you imagine going to your favorite hiking spot, taking a wrong turn, and getting stranded overnight? A few weeks back this happened to hikers descending from Mailbox Peak in Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), just outside of North Bend in East King County.
Mailbox Peak
The Mailbox Peak Trail gains 4,000 feet elevation in miles. Photo: DNR 

Hikers are drawn to the beautiful forests, streams, wildlife, and views of Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area from the Mailbox Peak Trail, but many have stayed away because of safety concerns and environmental damage on the trail.The current trail is very steep, with a 4,000-foot elevation gain in just 2 miles. This grade causes significant erosion along with dangerous conditions where hikers can become injured or lost.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), with the help of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, has broken ground on a new trail and trailhead that is being built with safety and sustainability in mind. DNR looks forward to hosting a celebration for the completion of this 18-month project on National Public Lands Day, September 2013.

So, what can you do? Here are three things you can do today to stay safe on the trails—and also lend a hand.
1. Safety is always first. No matter the length of your hike, always make sure you tell someone where you are going and pack the ten essentials.
2. Get dirty! Get your hands dirty and volunteer to help build the new trail at the following work parties:
July 28
August 11
3. Speak up. Mailbox Peak is in the Snoqualmie Corridor recreation planning area that is currently underway with the help of a citizen-based planning committee. We are asking for feedback on what recreation opportunities the public would like to see on DNR-managed state trust lands and conservation areas within the corridor.  Read the DNR blog for more details and take a few minutes to fill out the survey.  

Questions? Contact DNR Representative, Diana Lofflin at 360-902-1169 or  Stay current with what’s happening on DNR-managed recreation sites by subscribing to their blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter Fire pages.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wild Olympics Bill Introduced

Congressman Norm Dicks and Senator Patty Murray recently introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to permanently protect more than 126,500 acres of Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries, a total of 464 river miles, as Wild and Scenic Rivers.  If enacted, the legislation would designate the first new wilderness on Olympic National Forest in nearly three decades and the first-ever protected wild and scenic rivers on the Olympic peninsula.

The bill would offer permanent protection to some outstanding backcountry destinations, including lands in the areas of Moonlight Dome, South Quinault Ridge, Rugged Ridge, and Lost Creek, as well as additions to existing wilderness areas including Buckhorn, The Brothers, Mt. Skokomish, Wonder Mountain and Colonel Bob Wildernesses.  Read the bill & check out the Wild Olympics Campaign homepage for more information.

Congressman Dicks and Senator Murray have worked tirelessly to craft this proposal.  Please take a moment to send a personal letter to thank them for their work on the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.  Contact Congressman Norm Dicks or Senator Patty Murray & let them know you support the Wild Olympics!