WA Conservation Achievements for 2001
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, 1/11/02 – For 30 years, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit land conservation agency, has helped communities preserve open space and land for people to enjoy. In 2001, TPL protected 4,716 acres in the Mountains to Sound Greenway with a fair market value of more than $20 million.
Following Washington’s Interstate 90 from the shores of the Puget Sound into the Kittitas Valley, the Mountain to Sound Greenway embraces 100 miles of natural wonder, beauty and history. For more than a decade, TPL has partnered with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to protect these lands that complete the linkage of trails, recreation areas, scenic and productive forestlands, open space and wildlife habitats.
This 3,800-acre property consists of eight checkerboard sections in Kittitas County, Washington. Located along Interstate I-90 and adjacent to Keechelus Lake and the Yakima River, these parcels are a critical component of the Mountains to Sound Greenway. In addition to their significance of providing stunning views of the area and habitat for wildlife, several parcels border the John Wayne Trail, serving hikers, mountain bikers, cross-country skiers and equestrians. Collaborating with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, TPL purchased the land from Plum Creek Timberland Company last spring and conveyed it the U.S. Forest Service.
The 37-acre Swenson property is a prominent part of Snoqualmie Point and features spectacular views of Mt. Si, the upper Snoqualmie Valley and the Cascades; a bench trailhead; and public gathering area halfway between Seattle and Snoqualmie Pass. Located at the base of Rattlesnake Ridge, where TPL has helped protect nearly 3,000 acres including the Snoqualmie Winery property, the site was an important priority for the Mountains to Sound Greenway. Last year, TPL conveyed the property to the United States Forest Service for incorporation into the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Last summer, TPL completed the first phase of conserving the historic Tollgate Farm in North Bend, acquiring 320 acres of environmentally sensitive land. At the end of the year, TPL was able to protect the coveted central meadow – 52 acres featuring stunning views of Mt. Si and the old Tollgate Farmhouse that were once slated for development as a one million square foot office park and 32-home subdivision. TPL conveyed the 370 acres to the City of North Bend and King County. This fall, King County Executive Ron Sims honored TPL and North Bend Mayor Joan Simpson as Earth Heroes for their dedication to saving Tollgate Farm.
Buffering Rattlesnake Ridge, the 80-acre parcel is a key component of the area’s permanent wildlife corridor. With support from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, TPL was able to purchase and convey a conservation easement on the property to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The remaining fee interest was conveyed to DNR and King County as joint tenants in common. The property will be preserved as a natural resources conservation area.