Additional Access for Mt. Baker Forest (WA)

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WASHINGTON, 10/1/01 – Resting on the western face of Wilmon Peak, just east of Granite Falls, sits the Hopeful Mining Claim. The 17-acre in-holding within the Mount Baker National Forest is located near the historic mining town of Monte Cristo, a popular hiking area within the Henry Jackson Wilderness. With many parts of the Wilderness Area accessible only by foot, this rural area provides a unique and precious sanctuary for its guests. In an ongoing effort to ensure the preservation of these wilderness areas, the Forest Service has worked to acquire historic mining claims that are scattered across the forest.

Last year, at the request of the Forest Service, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) began negotiations with the landowners of the Hopeful Mine property to assist in the Forest Service’s acquisition of the parcel. Last week, TPL successfully acquired the property and immediately conveyed it the Forest Service who plans to incorporate the parcel into the Henry Jackson Wilderness Area for walk-in recreation and other wilderness values. In 1994, TPL also acquired the 250-acre abandoned town of Monte Cristo and conveyed it to the Forest Service.

“Conservation of this beautiful area for public recreation is a wonderful step in the partnership we have with the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Service. Helping to preserve these scenic and rural lands is a true victory,” commented TPL Project Manager Rinee Merritt.

The Forest Service’s Everett White commented, “Acquisition of this scenic and historic mining claim within the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness will provide public recreation and enjoyment for the present as well as future generations and will be managed to protect the wilderness values of this area. The Forest Service appreciated the role that the Trust for Public Land and the Wray family had in making this acquisition possible.”

The Trust for Public Land is a private, nonprofit land conservation organization that works across the nation to conserve land for people. Founded in 1972, TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, public finance and law to protect land for public use. Working with private landowners, communities and government agencies, TPL has helped protect more than 1,400 special places nationwide for people to enjoy as parks, playgrounds, community gardens, historic landmarks and wilderness lands. For more information about TPL’s work in Washington and the Northwest, please visit or call (206) 587-2447.