State to gather public input for future of Morning Star conservation area trails
News Date: 
December 1, 2016

Comments, volunteer committee member applications due Jan. 15

The Cutthroat, Grieder and Ashland lakes are favorite destinations for backpackers and hikers looking for solitude. 
Future trail access to these lakes, and the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area that protects them, will be the focus of a public meeting 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec.15 at the Cavelero Mid High School cafeteria in Lake Stevens. Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff will begin with a 6:30 p.m. presentation, followed by opportunities for public comment on conservation and recreation topics. 
DNR is developing a 10-to-15-year trail plan to guide hiking trails in the 36,037-acre landscape, DNR’s largest conservation area. A 30-minute drive from Everett, Morning Star protects rare plants and ecological habitat and offers popular hiking and backcountry camping opportunities among sub-alpine lakes, meadows and prominent ridges. 
“Morning Star represents a lot of what locals and visitors love about the North Cascades,” said David Way, a natural areas recreation manager at DNR. “It’s an example of our longstanding commitment to conservation and an opportunity to experience low-impact recreation opportunities like backcountry hiking and camping. We need to hear from local voices to make sure this plan captures this, and the community’s vision.” 
The ensuing trails plan will guide renovation, enhancements and new developments in the conservation area, with an emphasis on restoration and conservation of environmentally sensitive areas.

Volunteer opportunities

DNR is also seeking local voices to join a committee of volunteers. The committee will recommend priorities for DNR staff to consider as they develop the trails plan. Committee members will meet monthly with occasional breaks beginning in February.  DNR will host the meetings in the Snohomish County area across approximately one year. 
Visit DNR’s project web page to learn more about the Morning Star conservation area, complete the survey or apply by Jan. 15 to serve on the committee: To get in touch with the project manager, email or call 360-333-5741. 
Eryn Couch
Communications Manager