WTA Appointed to Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee
WTA is part of a twenty-member advisory group that has been appointed to help Washington State departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife develop a management plan for the Teanaway Community Forest, located in the Teanaway River valley of Kittitas County.
A twenty-member advisory group has been appointed to help Washington State departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife develop a management plan for the Teanaway Community Forest, located in the Teanaway River valley of Kittitas County.
WTA contributes a voice for hikers
Nearly 90 people submitted applications to sit on the advisory committee, and WTA was awarded a seat for a representative who will act as a voice for Washington state's hiking community.
“I am extremely pleased that we have such a diverse group of highly qualified and passionate individuals to help the State of Washington develop the management plan for its first Community Forest,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark in a news release. “We are committed to working with our new advisory committee to ensure that the management plan we adopt for the Teanaway Community Forest reflects the values and priorities of the communities that fought so hard for its conservation.”
Plenty of room for everyone
The Teanaway Community Forest is the state’s first community forest. The 50,272 acre-forest was purchased from a private seller in October 2013. It is the single largest land acquisition in Washington state in 45 years and a cornerstone of the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, an effort to improve water quality and supplies and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Yakima Basin.
In collaboration with the departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife, the advisory committee must develop a plan by June 30, 2015 that addresses watershed protection, working lands for forestry and livestock grazing, recreational opportunities, conservation of fish and wildlife habitat, and establishment of an ongoing community partnership to guide management of the forest.
Improving recreation in a popular area
Hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, campers and others already use the Teanaway Community Forest. A few trails such as Yellow Hill-Elbow Peak and the Middle Fork Teanaway begin on the community forest land and the potential for more trails is abundant.
The first meeting of the Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee will be held on Monday, March 31 at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds -- Teanaway Room, 512 N. Poplar Street, Ellensburg from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Further details will be announced before the meeting. All advisory committee meetings will be open to the public.