Final private inholdings in Mount Si Natural Area purchased
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Final private inholdings in Mount Si Natural Area purchased 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
April 13, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                       
Final private inholdings in Mount Si Natural Area purchased
Efforts by DNR and Cascade Land Conservancy will protect entire 12,000-acre site from development

OLYMPIA – The final inholdings of private property in the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation (NRCA) area have been purchased by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), providing an unbroken expanse reserved for environmental education and low-impact public uses, such as hiking.

An inholding is a parcel of private property completely surrounded by public property. Such “islands” of private property can make management of the land more difficult and inefficient.

“With this addition, the Mount Si NRCA is now complete with more than 12,000 acres protected from development in eastern King County,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “Everyone who treasures the outdoors will benefit from this unbroken landscape.”

The Cascade Land Conservancy worked with DNR for a decade on acquiring the final inholdings at Mount Si.

“These properties are at the heart of our region’s popular natural area and recreation destination and are now protected for ours and future generations to appreciate,” said Gene Duvernoy, President, Cascade Land Conservancy. “The Conservancy has been steadfast in our efforts to bring these inholdings into public ownership. Such conservation is what adds to the quality of life in our region.”

DNR purchased the 10.31-acre property March 5 for inclusion in the Mount Si NRCA. This property, a federal mining claim, is the final private inholding in the very heart of the Mount Si NRCA on the northwest side of Mount Teneriffe.

This steep, mountainous property is accessed via the Teneriffe Road, approximately five miles north from the Mount Si Road. This access road is owned and maintained by DNR.

Acquisition and inclusion of this property into the NRCA will allow DNR to proceed with its management objectives for this site as well as preclude potential future habitat loss.

In November 2009, DNR purchased the neighboring 31-acre parcel for $1.5 million, which featured 360-degree views and could have been used as a trophy homesite. The 10.31-acre purchase is the final acquisition in the core of the NRCA which will allow DNR to decommission the Teneriffe Road in accordance with the Mount Si NRCA Management Plan

Since 2000, DNR and the Cascade Land Conservancy have worked in concert to acquire this important property for inclusion in the NRCA. Among the individuals working to complete these transactions were Michelle Connor, Senior Vice President for Programs at the Conservancy, and Lindsay Malone, King County Conservation Project Manager.

The $125,000 purchase price for the 10.31-acre property was substantially less per acre than the larger parcel because of its less-desirable views and topography. DNR obtained funding for the land acquisitions from Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP) grants awarded by the Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO).

Last April, the Board of Natural Resources approved adding approximately 2,100 acres to the Mount Si Natural NRCA.

Mount Si NRCA is composed of steep, rugged and mountainous terrain. Four mountain peaks are located within its boundaries and include: Mount Si, Mount Teneriffe, Green Mountain, and Little Si, ranging from 1,600 to 4,800 feet in elevation. The NRCA supports a variety of wildlife including native mountain goats, cougar, and black bear. The NRCA also safeguards unique geologic features, examples of old-growth forests, and sensitive plant species. On the Mount Si trail, hikers will experience walking through a heavily forested slope to reach the top. With clear weather, hikers are rewarded by a spectacular view of the Snoqualmie Valley, the Cascades, and Mt. Rainier from the summit of Mount Si.

Cascade Land Conservancy
The Cascade Land Conservancy is the largest land conservation, stewardship and community building organization operating in Washington State with headquarters in Seattle and principal offices in King, Kittitas, Mason, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy has protected 158,000 acres of working forests, farmlands and natural areas as well as estuary lands on the Olympic Peninsula and along the Washington Coast. It provides stewardship services, caring for more than 12,000 acres of land. Since 2005 it has been the host organization of The Cascade Agenda, which links conserving great lands with creating great communities. For more information, please visit www.cascadeland.org .

About DNR
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. These lands include 130,000 acres of NRCAs and Natural Area Preserves that protect rare and threatened species as well as high-quality examples of the native ecosystems and landscapes of Washington.

Media Contacts:
Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149, bob.redling@dnr.wa.gov  
Steve Dunphy, Vice President – Strategy and Communications, 206-905-6933, steved@cascadeland.org  

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