State DNR releases draft recreation plan for Western Yacolt Burn Forest
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State DNR releases draft recreation plan for Western Yacolt Burn Forest 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
May 10, 2010
 
State DNR releases draft recreation plan for Western Yacolt Burn Forest
Public asked to comment on plan for area in southwest Washington

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today released a draft plan that will guide the sustainable management of recreation in the western portion of the Yacolt Burn State Forest. The public may comment on the draft recreation plan as well as review the plan through the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process. The comment and review period ends at 5 p.m., June 1, 2010.

The draft plan addresses recreation in the western 40,000 acres of the Yacolt Burn State Forest, which totals 90,000 acres.

“The Western Yacolt Burn Forest Recreation Plan will help guide recreation opportunities in areas of  the forest that are best suited for safe, fun, and sustainable activities,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.

The need for recreation planning in Yacolt
The demand for recreation access continues to grow in southwest Washington. As the population expands in nearby urban areas such as Vancouver and Portland, demand for outdoor recreation opportunities is also on the rise. This demand, if not addressed, will continue to put tremendous pressure on existing trails and facilities in the Western Yacolt Burn Forest. These pressures have impacted the area’s environment and natural resources. In addition, many of the unauthorized trails cross streams and sensitive wetlands, and threaten water quality in the area.

In 2007, DNR applied for and received two grants for nearly $140,000 from the Non-highway and Off-road Vehicle Activities (NOVA) program to develop a comprehensive recreation plan for non-motorized and motorized recreation use.

To develop the draft plan, DNR worked with a citizen planning group with representatives from diverse recreation uses and interest groups, including motorcycle and quad riding, horseback riding, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, and camping, along with neighboring landowners and conservation/preservation communities.

As a working forest, Yacolt Burn State Forest provides revenue to state trust beneficiaries, including public schools. The recreation plan will help guide how best to balance the need to provide healthy forests for the trusts while allowing for a variety of recreation opportunities.

How to comment on the draft recreation plan and the SEPA material
Go to the Western Yacolt Burn Forest Recreation Plan SEPA web page:
www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Topics/SEPANonProject/Pages/amp_sepa_nonpro_yacolt_jul.aspx  

Provide all written comments to:
Department of Natural Resources
SEPA Center
PO Box 47105
Olympia, WA  98504
sepacenter@dnr.wa.gov  

The direct link to the Western Yacolt Burn Forest Recreation Plan is at: www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/amp_rec_draftwesternyacolt_rec_plan.pdf  

For more information, contact Jessica Kimmick, 360-852-3390 (cell), 360-577-2025 (work), or jessica.kimmick@dnr.wa.gov .

More information and background about recreation planning in the Western Yacolt Burn Forest is at:
www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/Topics/RecreationPlanning/Pages/amp_rec_yacolt_plan.aspx  

Western Yacolt Burn Recreation Planning Area Map

Recreation on DNR-managed lands
DNR manages more than 5 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.2 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s General Fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat and educational and recreational opportunities.

DNR-managed lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.

DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive experience in a natural setting.

Media Contact: Toni Droscher, Recreation Program Communications Manager, 360-902-1523, and toni.droscher@dnr.wa.gov .

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360-902-1016
dnrnews@dnr.wa.gov

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