DNR Releases Ahtanum State Forest Recreation Plan
>> Read the final Athanum State Forest Recreation Plan (9.6 MB PDF)
More about Ahtanum
Ahtanum State Forest covers a unique and diverse landscape southwest of Yakima, Washington, with ecosystems ranging from shrub-steppe in the eastern portion to high alpine in the western area.
The 77,000-acre block of land is a working forest that provides revenue to Washington schools and trusts from forest harvests and leasing. Ahtanum also offers year-round recreation opportunities including ORV riding, four-wheel driving, hunting, horseback riding, snowmobiling, hiking, and mountain biking.
Planning for the future of recreation in Ahtanum
Because of Ahtanum’s popularity, work has been underway to develop a comprehensive management plan that provides for safe and sustainable recreation. A draft of the Ahtanum State Forest Recreation Plan will be ready for review in late summer 2009.
Adopting a recreation plan will help DNR meet its land-management obligations and, at the same time, provide for multiple uses within the Ahtanum State Forest.
Timeline for planning
- Spring 2007. The Washington State Legislature approved funding for DNR to develop a recreation management plan for the Ahtanum State Forest.
- Winter 2008. The Ahtanum Recreation Planning Committee is formed to help guide DNR in its planning efforts. Membership includes a diverse group of motorized and non-motorized recreation users, adjacent landowners, and conservation interests.
- Spring – Fall 2008. Planning group holds 10 meetings, including field visits. The group discussed recreation issues and considered potential management options. DNR staff provided the planning group with comprehensive background information to review as they made their recommendations. During these meetings, planning group members discussed issues such as enforcement and education, Green Dot road systems, trail construction, designated and dispersed camping, environmental and habitat issues, and general management.
- October 2008. Citizen planning group process is completed.
- Winter 2009. DNR staff develops draft Ahtanum State Forest Recreation Plan, based largely on recommendations from the citizen planning group.
- September 8 – October 8, 2009. Plan goes through State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) public review process.