A Day in the life: Recreation Planning Committee

Members from the Snoqualmie Corrdior Planning Committee explore the landscape. Photo: Laura Cooper, DNR.

Members from the Snoqualmie Corrdior Planning Committee explore the landscape. Photo: Laura Cooper, DNR.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to help plan for recreation development on thousands of acres of land?

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has citizen-based planning committees who are given the opportunity to draft recommendations on recreation planning efforts on state trust lands and natural areas across Washington State. Their commitment will mean more recreation opportunities for you.

Many of our committee members learned about these planning efforts through DNR’s recreation e-news. Here’s a look at two planning efforts nearing completion – Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forests and the Snoqualmie Corridor recreation plans – and what it’s like to participate.

Recreation planning updates

Tahuya and Green Mountain Planning Committee member Herb Gerhardt snapped this picture of the Olympic Mountains from Long Marsh in Tahuya State Forest. Photo: Herb Gerhardt.

Tahuya and Green Mountain Planning Committee member Herb Gerhardt snapped this photo of the Olympic Mountains from Lone Duck Pond in Tahuya State Forest. Photo: Herb Gerhardt.

Nestled in Kitsap and Mason counties, the Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forests offer tremendous opportunities for fun, safe, and sustainable recreation. In January 2011, a team of 12 recreation enthusiasts came together to be on the planning committee. This committee reviewed the science and management principles of the area in order to provide valuable insight for a recreation plan.  Last month, they celebrated completing their draft recommendations and the agency review process. This draft plan is moving forward with a public environmental review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

The Snoqualmie Corridor recreation planning committee also has made strides in their planning effort. DNR-managed lands in the corridor include Raging River State Forest, Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), West Tiger, Rattlesnake Mountain, Mount Si NRCA, and the rural forest lands near the community of Preston. This 53,000-acre planning area is within a short drive from Seattle, making it a top pick for many recreation enthusiasts. A 17-member planning committee convened in March and has actively explored the area both through field visits and through presentations by landscape management experts. In December, they worked out draft recommendations that DNR will review in January.  

Curious about what it’s like to be involved in a planning committee? Here’s what a few of the committee members said, in their own words.

Committee Member Comments

Q. What did you think of the planning process? 

Snoqualmie Corridor committee member reviews a concept map. Photo: Doug McClelland, DNR.

Snoqualmie Corridor committee member reviews a concept map. Photo: Doug McClelland, DNR.

“DNR went out of its way to present an incredible amount of information about the biological values on the landscape as well as being very clear about its own land management priorities for harvest and the underlying policies that dictate how the planning can occur.”

  
Sarah Krueger
Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan

“The process was well administered by competent, thoughtful, and professional DNR staff. The citizen participants, while passionate about their personnel recreation, were respectful to all other users. I am very satisfied with the outcome.”

Dennis Ohlde
Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forest Recreation Plan

Q. What makes this planning effort unique?

“As a community member, knowing that a large government organization is listening and acting on the group’s decisions is very unique.”

Chris Lemke
Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forest Recreation Plan

“I was particularly impressed by the diversity of the group assembled.  We had many different areas of expertise and representatives from many different forms of recreation.”

Jennie Creveling
Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan

Q: What do you think about the outcome of the process?

Recreation staff and Snoqualmie Corridor Committee Members discuss recreation planning in Raging River State Forest. Photo: Bob Pattie

Recreation staff and Snoqualmie Corridor Committee Members discuss recreation planning in Raging River State Forest. Photo: Bob Pattie

“The planning process was excellent, especially with a wide range of users involved. The result is a good collaboration of their input.”

Jim Davis
Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forest Recreation Plan

“I feel the outcome, as it looks to be shaping up, will be a valuable blueprint to guide decisions for many years to come.”

Rick McGuire
Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan

Q: What are the next steps?

“The SEPA process, presenting our plan to the public, and getting final DNR approval. After that funding will probably be the largest obstacle.”

Steve DeCoy
Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forest Recreation Plan

“I believe that the planning group needs to be ready to support the plan and continue to assist in making the plan work.  If additional effort is needed, the group should be ready help.”

Bob Pattie
Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan

Q: How do you see yourself involved in the future?

Jim Davis, a Tahuya and Green Mountain Committee Member, gets ready for a trail ride in Tahuya State Forest. Photo: Herb Gerhardt.

Jim Davis, a Tahuya and Green Mountain Committee Member, gets ready for a trail ride in Tahuya State Forest. Photo: Herb Gerhardt.

“I see myself as a volunteer and ambassador for this good work.”

Chris Lemke
Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forest Recreation Plan

“We look forward to helping support this vision for recreation access and amenities that came out of the recreation planning process.”

Amy Brockhaus
Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan

In what ways could DNR improve the process?

 “I thought it was way too long of a process.”

Herb Gerhardt
Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forest Recreation Plan

“I was frustrated that we spent so much time debating the motorized use like we had history of some type of long term issue on Green Mountain.”

Steve Decoy
Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forest Recreation Plan

Thoughts from DNR

Assistant Region Manager, Doug McClelland goes over a map on a committee field visit in Snoqualmie Corridor. Photo: Bob Pattie

Assistant Region Manager Doug McClelland goes over a map on a committee field visit in Snoqualmie Corridor. Photo: Bob Pattie

“We always learn a great deal each time we go through this planning process. These two planning efforts are no exception. We respect the committee’s time and effort and will use what we learned to continually improve our planning processes in the future.”

Lisa Anderson
DNR’s Statewide Planning Manager

 “More than a plan, we have developed partners in successful recreation management.”

Doug McClelland
South Puget Sound Assistant Region Manager

Thank you to all who participated in the many planning efforts across the state.

If you would like to find out about opportunities to share your input on recreation planning, sign up for DNR’s recreation e-news.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 232 other followers