DNR wants your comments on a draft recreation plan for Ahtanum State Forest.
Right now, the recreational menu for the 76,000-acre block of forested state trust land includes five campgrounds, two trailheads (one open year-round), groomed snowmobile routes, a 23-mile trail for motorized vehicles, lots of dispersed camping, and thousands of acres of forestland. Think there should be more of this, less of that? DNR has developed a draft management plan to map out the future of recreation in Ahtanum State Forest, and is seeking comments.
The Ahtanum is a working forest, meaning it contributes non-tax revenue to schools, universities, prisons, etc. Located about 30 miles west of Yakima, it also a popular recreation area. Visitors come from both sides of the Cascades to ride horses and off-road vehicles, hunt, hike, camp, and just enjoy the extraordinary scenery.
The draft recreation plan was developed through a process that included numerous meetings with a citizen planning group and surveys with people who use the forest for hiking, fishing, hunting, riding, and whatnot. Once finalized, the plan will seek to balance the needs for healthy forests and grazing lands for state trust beneficiaries with providing a variety of recreational opportunities.
But the plan isn’t final yet. DNR would like to know what you think about the recommendations. See details, including how to send written comments (comment period ends at 5 p.m., Oct. 5, 2009).