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January + February 2010 » Washington Trails

Mailbox Gets Four Magic Letters: NRCA

10,270-acre site links Mount Si to national forests

WTA’s Work Party Schedule

Jan 5-9

Tue - Sat

Jan 10


Jan 12-16

Tue - Sat

Jan 16-17

Sat, Sun

Jan 17


Jan 19-23

Tue - Sat

Jan 23-24

Sat, Sun

Jan 26-30

Tue - Sat

Jan 30-31

Sat, Sun

Feb 2-6

Tue - Sat

Feb 7


Feb 9-13

Tue - Sat

Feb 13-14

Sat, Sun

Feb 16-20

Tue - Sat

Feb 20-21

Sat, Sun

Feb 23-27

Tue - Sat

Feb 28


Photo by Lisa Town.

Mailbox Peak has long been renowned among hikers as a steeper, lesser traveled alternative to nearby Mount Si. Its views and its challenge keep it at the top of the list of popu- lar hikes on the WTA web site.

Now, there’s a new reason to love Mailbox.

In early December 2009, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark designated the new Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), providing a new level of protection to the state forest lands be- tween the Middle Fork Road and Interstate 90.

Grand Ridge Tiger Mountain Cougar Mountain Larrabee State Park Tiger Mountain Cougar Mountain TBD Grand Ridge Larrabee State Park Grand Ridge TBD O’Grady Larrabee State Park Taylor Mountain Larrabee State Park Taylor Mountain TBD

Most of the land managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is held in trust to generate revenue for schools, primarily through timber harvest. However, over time, some of these areas have become more valuable as conservation properties than as timber lands. The Trust Land Transfer program allows for the transfer of trust obligations from the parcel, so that the agency can manage the property for conservation purposes as an NRCA.

Tiger Mountain, Mount Si, Dishman Hills, Table Mountain and Gothic Basin all lie within NRCAs. With the creation of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA, Mailbox Peak has earned such favor, as well.

For a complete schedule visit www.wta.org

The current Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA boundary contains a few private parcels that will not be a part of the NRCA unless they are purchased. DNR may only purchase private land from willing sellers at fair market value— and only if funds are available.

In the 2010 legislative session, WTA will work to support better funding for NRCAs and other state lands. t

To sign up or find more info » This is a se- lection from our extensive list of volunteer opportunities. To find more trips, and to sign up, visit our website at www.wta.org and click on “Volunteer.” No experience is necessary. Sign-ups close two days before a work party, and work parties often fill up quickly, so reserve early. Trip dates and locations are subject to change.

WTA at Work

Meet Our Members!

Janelle Walker

If you thought you hit the trails a lot last year, meet Janelle.

Janelle Walker set a goal of taking 100 hikes in 2009. On December 5, she took hike number 100, a hike from Paradise headed toward Skyline Route in Mount Rainier National Park.

Writing under the pen name “Hikingqueen,” due to her queen- like need for the comforts of home at the end of a hike, Janelle shares the details of each of her hikes through Trip Reports filed on the WTA web- site. Her frequent posts, complete with updates and tidbits about her personal life, have attracted a devoted following of readers.

By sharing the experience of her 100-hikes-in-a-year goal, Janelle has in- spired many read- ers to aim high.

  • Megan Elder

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