Advocacy Alert! DNR’s Recreation Plan Draft – Your comments are needed!
The Department of Natural Resources presented their Draft Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan to the public a couple of weeks ago. They are asking for comments from our constituents and this is open for comment until August 26th so it’s important that mountain bikers give our comments asap. This has been a 2 ½ year process, so let’s make sure we have a strong showing as we cross the finish line here! You can send your comments here: SEPACENTER@DNR.WA.GOV
From our standpoint, there are two key takeaways from the Draft plan that we would like folks to comment on.
- Stewart Mountain: The WMBC would like the DNR to prioritize the area around Lake Whatcom Park on Stewart Mountain for future development. The two DNR parcels on Stewart Mountain that adjoin the North and South of the Whatcom County Park already have trail development taking place and this makes perfect sense.
- North Fork:
- The southern section along the Racehorse Creek drainage is appealing due to its higher elevations and alpine views. The only potential downsides are that it starts at a higher elevation, so it would only be accessible half of the year due to snow and it’s a significantly longer drive into this area.
- On the Northern section, we would prefer the DNR to include pre-existing trails and usage in the North Fork area with or without the conditional use that is tied to the Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy. Other trail networks around Western Washington will be grandfathered into the Murrelet Conservation Strategy due to their official status. While the North Fork has always been an unsanctioned trail network, it has a long history of use and it would benefit the DNR to move forward in sanctioning this area for non-motorized use. On the included map, this is the area with the diagonal lines through it.
Please be sure to send an email to the DNR at SEPACENTER@DNR.WA.GOV before the 26th of August. If you want to dig into this plan more, you can see the entire plan here: https://www.dnr.wa.gov/baker-bellingham-non-motorized-recreation-plan