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Schroder
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Schroder
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PostTue Sep 11, 2018 8:44 am 
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Morning Star Trails Plan: This proposal represents a landscape-level Trails Plan developed during a grant-funded public planning process involving the general public, users, neighboring landowners, other agencies, and other stakeholders.  The planning process included broad public outreach to solicit participation, a public survey, formation of a Trails Planning Committee comprised of representatives of various stakeholder groups and other agencies, and several months of committee meetings, including field trips.  The project area includes four distinct landscapes (Ashland Lakes, Cutthroat Lakes, Boulder/Greider/Spada Lakes, and Gothic Basin) within the larger NRCA, all of which include existing trails and camping areas.

The process was designed to help DNR identify needs and prioritize management activities related to public use in the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), within the framework prescribed in the Natural Resources Conservation Areas Statewide Management Plan.  The planning effort was intended to address ongoing impacts to public resources related to public use of existing trails and camping areas (facilities).  It did not include consideration of additional uses or new facilities; those would be the subject of comprehensive NRCA-wide management planning that is beyond the scope of this process. Located in; T30N-R08E: portions of sections 33-35, and all of section 36. T29N-R08E: all of section 1, portions of sections 2-4, 11, 12. T29N-R09E: portions of sections 2, 7-10, 12-14, 17, 18, 20-27, 37, all of sections 11, 15, 16, 35, 36. T29N-R10E: portions of sections 4, 6, 9, 10, 15, 17, 25, 26, 34, 36, all of sections 7, 8, 14, 16, 18-24, 28-33. T28N-R09E: portions of sections 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, 16, all of section 1, 4, 10, 11, 14, 15. T28N-R10E: portions of sections 2, 4, 7, all of sections 3, 5, 6. W.M., Snohomish County.

Information about this proposal including the Threshold Determination and SEPA Checklist can be accessed through DNRís website at:

http://www.dnr.wa.gov/morning-star-trails-plan

Pursuant to WAC 332-41-504, this proposal was filed in the departmentís SEPA Center at the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street SE, P.O. Box 47015, Olympia, Washington, on September 7, 2018. We will consider comments on this proposed DNS received by 4:30 p.m. on September 21, 2018. Comments should be submitted to the SEPA Center at, sepacenter@dnr.wa.gov or P.O. Box 47015, Olympia, Washington 98504-7015 for distribution to the responsible official. Please include the file number listed above on all comments.
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JimK
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PostTue Sep 11, 2018 9:19 am 
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Randy, thanks for posting this.

--------------
Hiking Northwest
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Sep 11, 2018 10:05 am 
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Thanks Randy. It'll be cool to read this. I was hoping they'd resurrect the trail to Boulder Lake (Reiter trail head) and enhance to wetland interpretive site at the Greider trail head. I guess I'll find out when I read this!
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Nancyann
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PostTue Sep 11, 2018 8:55 pm 
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Yes, thanks very much Randy!
Kim, whatís this about a trail from Reiter to Boulder Lake?
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Schroder
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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 4:53 pm 
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You've kind of got Mt Stickney, Ragged Ridge and Prospect Peak in the way. That would be an interesting trail.
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Schroder
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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 5:47 pm 
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I have to say that on the first pass it's a little disappointing. Lots of management catch-phrases and a little short of content.  The meat of the report seems to be the couple of pages on goals and objectives, which is a prioritized list of bullet points with not a lot of discussion.

There are a few statements that raise some concern with me:

Re-establish Access Category:

Quote:
Re-establishing access to Twin Falls should not be a priority

Quote:
Recreation is third on the list of priorities in the Statewide Plan. The plan balances conservation and accommodation of use.

Access Control Category:

Quote:
Permit system - especially for sensitive/pristine areas such as Gothic, Cutthroat, Vesper/Sperry and Greider

Concerning new development:

Quote:
Trails are not a priority in the NRCA Statewide Management Plan

Isn't that what this whole project is about?

Implementation Category:

Quote:
Close Gothic Basin to overnight camping

It appears to me that the main objective is to upgrade the primary trails in use so they're more environmental friendly but they really would rather that people not be up there, spend the night, or wander off-trail.
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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 7:12 pm 
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[quote]Trails are not a priority in the NRCA Statewide Management Plan[/quote]
Isn't that what this whole project is about?


No, sorry. An NRCA is to protect special wild places. What they're saying is that this is a trails plan, even if recreation isn't priority.

I haven't looked at this document yet, but I am assuming a list of stakeholders are there. Lots of input by both recreation advocates as well as environmenal advocates.

Something seemingly simple as the toilet at Gothic Basin is a big deal. I attended a few of these stakeholder meetings, but due to a new job, I had leave the group just when it got meaty, so you know more about it than anyone at this point!
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slabbyd
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slabbyd
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PostThu Sep 13, 2018 9:45 am 
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Amazing they can put a detailed 121 page plan together that includes comments like

"The Sunrise Mine Trail is a USFS designated trail...Unknowns include level of use, TRAIL CONDITIONS, environmental impacts"

Doesn't seem like it would have taken all that much to figure that one out.
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Sep 13, 2018 10:16 am 
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slabbyd, where is that quote? I'm just now looking at the plan & other docs & so far haven't found that quote in the Draft Plan.
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slabbyd
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PostThu Sep 13, 2018 1:48 pm 
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Page 41 of 121

Far more interesting is the discussion that occurred durning Meet #7 beginning on page 98.   At the time DNR was recommending a three year closure of Gothic Basin, an idea enthusiastically supported by the stakeholders in attendance.  Who then also suggested it be extended to the Sunrise Mine Trail as well.

FWIW the maps clearly show the "ridgeline above Lake Elan" being in the DNR CRNA where the primary purpose is conservation.   This is location the #findsamsayers crowd wants to build their woodstove fueled permanent encampment.

Can private helicopters land on DNR or FS lab as they see fit?  Hard to believe.
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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Sep 13, 2018 3:39 pm 
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slabbyd wrote:
Far more interesting is the discussion that occurred durning Meet #7 beginning on page 98.† At the time DNR was recommending a three year closure of Gothic Basin, an idea enthusiastically supported by the stakeholders in attendance.† Who then also suggested it be extended to the Sunrise Mine Trail as well.

That was nixed in part because of the participation of the multiple recreation groups that were represented in this committee.Without hiker representation at these study groups, others groups have a larger voice. Preservation groups certainly have a voice; at the Meet #7, yes, they shared their thoughts. Note that not all stakeholders were present in Meet #7.

In the de-brief of Meet #7, other stakeholders then shared their thoughts of a potential closure, and DNR discussed the need for more relationships with recreation user groups.

Gothic wasn't closed.

It's important to be involved and join organizations!
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