Take a recreation survey and help protect the Teanaway Community Forest!
Conservation Northwest / Aug 03, 2017 / Public Lands
Teanaway Community Forest managers seeking input on recreation usage on this ecologically complex and important landscape
In 2014, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the purchase of 50,272 acres in the Yakima River basin, designated as the Teanaway Community Forest.
This land was purchased with the goals of protecting the watershed of the Yakima River and its aquatic habitats, conserving and restoring vital habitat for fish and wildlife, and maintaining working lands and high-quality recreation opportunities that are consistent with watershed protection, all while seeking significant input from the public and those who care about this important area.
Now, the state agencies that manage the Teanaway Forest are formulating a recreation plan for the community forest and have provided a brief survey regarding usage of the area. We’re asking you to please fill out this survey and to ask the agencies to adopt a recreation plan that is consistent with the conservation goals that were the driving force of the Teanaway Forest’s creation.
Advocates for expanding motorized (motorcycles and off-road vehicles) use into this ecologically complex area will speak loudly on this topic, and conservationists and those who value quiet recreation need to answer with an equally strong voice. While Conservation Northwest is not against motorized use, we believe it should be properly regulated and located in appropriate areas.
Please take a few moments to lend your voice to this important topic!
Most questions in the survey are multiple choice, but there is a comment box provided near the end of the survey. While we encourage you to use your own voice in this section, please consider some of the following talking points as you craft your comment:
The Teanaway Forest is home to a wolf pack, spotted owls, deer and elk, bull trout, steelhead, Chinook salmon, and many more species. Recreation planning should be aligned with the conservation goals of the Forest and allow for recreation uses that do not degrade fish and wildlife habitat or undermine endangered species recovery.
- Please do not allow expansion of any motorized activity on the Teanaway Forest. Currently, there is a surplus of motorized trails and facilities in the county including lands east of Highway 97 and south of I-90. The Teanaway Community Forest was purchased with watershed restoration and protection as a top priority – make it a unique front-country opportunity for less impactful and quiet recreation. From hiking and camping to hunting and angling, other recreation values would be impaired by the addition of motorized recreation on this public forest.
- Well designed and sustainable trails, campgrounds, and river viewing opportunities are important to allow the community access to the TCF, but education and monitoring are vital investments that should be made up front in this recreation planning to ensure lawful use of the designated system.
- Before new opportunities for recreation are opened in the Teanaway Forest, removal of the existing user created trails and restoration of degraded forest conditions must remain a priority.