DNR invites the public to comment on draft recreation plan for Ahtanum State Forest
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DNR invites the public to comment on draft recreation plan for Ahtanum State Forest 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
September 8, 2009
 
DNR invites the public to comment on draft recreation plan for Ahtanum State Forest

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today released a draft management plan that maps out the future of recreation in Ahtanum State Forest, a 76,000-acre block of forested state trust land located 30 miles west of Yakima.

As a working forest, Ahtanum provides revenue to state trust beneficiaries, including public schools. It’s also a popular recreation area, attracting visitors from both sides of the Cascade Mountains. The recreation plan will help guide how best to balance both the need to provide healthy forests and grazing lands for the trusts while allowing for a variety of recreational opportunities.

To develop the plan, DNR worked closely with a group of citizens who represented diverse motorized and non-motorized recreation uses. DNR staff and the Ahtanum Recreation Planning Work Group reviewed scientific data to learn about which areas of the forest were considered most suitable for recreation activities. They also conducted a survey of recreation users and held a series of meetings to gather public input prior to developing their recommendations.

The plan identifies essential recreation projects and lists them in order of priority. DNR would like to know what the public thinks about the findings and recommendations in this plan.  DNR is providing this public comment opportunity in conjunction with the official State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process. The public comment period ends 5 p.m., October 8.

How to comment on the draft recreation plan
Download the draft Ahtanum State Forest Recreation Plan at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/amp_rec_ahtanum_plan_draft_sepa090909.pdf  

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

Attend a public meeting:
September 22
6:30 to 8 p.m.
West Valley Fire-Rescue Station #5
10000 Zier Rd.
Yakima, WA
(509) 966-3111

For more information, contact Eric Watrud, at 509-925-8510 or eric.watrud@dnr.wa.gov .

For background on the Ahtanum State Forest recreation planning process, visit: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/Topics/RecreationPlanning/Pages/amp_rec_ahtanum.aspx  

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 2.1 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, DNR manages state trust lands 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 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 and Outreach Manager, 360-902-1523 or toni.droscher@dnr.wa.gov

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DNR Communications & Outreach Office
360-902-1016
dnrnews@dnr.wa.gov

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