Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
October 19, 1983     The Issaquah Press
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October 19, 1983

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nil ii n i f iiiiii f MOTORIZED RECREATION The Committee has been unable to agree on a policy for the use of off-road vehicles and trail bikes on Tiger Mountain. Please comment on the prohibition or control of motorized recreational vehicles on Tiger Mountain: Please summarize your notes on line 7 of the Mailback. What is the level of your concern for off-road vehicle use on the mountain? (5 = very concerned; 1 --- unconcerned) Of the alternatives proposed, which do you favor? On any trip east of Seattle along 1-90, you can see Tiger Mountain looming up south of Issaquah. Tiger Mountain is part of a finger of the Cascades local people call the "Issaquah Alps," along with Cougar, Squak, Taylor and Rattlesnake Mountains. The stands of Douglas fir, hemlock and alder above Highway 18 were once heavily clearcut, in the 1920's; above Issaquah stands of very old timber can still be seen on some of Tiger Mountain's steep north slopes. Along the Issaquah-Hobart Road evidence of some recent logging activity can be seen. Tiger Mountain is bounded by these three highways making it highly visible to a large number of people: what happens on Tiger Mountain is noticed. Until recently, most ownership of the land on Tiger Mountain was shared by various state trusts, managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Weyerhaeuser Company. Recreation, including hang-gliding, hiking and some motorized sports, has long been actively pursued on the mountain through the tacit permission of the major owners. In November, 1981, Commissioner of Public Lands Brian Boyle announced plans to create a new state forest out of the 13,500 acres that make up Tiger Mountain. Through mutually beneficial land trades with Weyerhaeuser, most of the land on Tiger Mountain was "blocked up" into a single management area. This "working forest in an urban environment," twenty miles from downtown Seattle, provides the DNR with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to the public how it goes about the practice of resource management. The Tiger Mountain State Forest is also the first area for which the DNR is preparing an integrated long-term management plan with the assistance of the public. THE ADVISORY COMMrITEE The Tiger Mountain State Forest Advisory Committee was appointed in April, 1982, by Commissioner Boyle, to assist the DNR in developing management guidelines for the Tiger Mountain State Forest. The Committee is a broadly-based 19-member group of citizens representing local and regional interests with concerns about the management of the State Forest. The Committee has sought to integrate the DNR's statutory obligation to manage trust lands for income- producing sustained-yield forestry with the needs and desires of various user groups, the concerns of adjacent and area residents, environmental protection and the educational possibilities of the forest in a multiple-use framework. The Committee has met every three weeks in Issaquah for over a year to discuss with each other and with the Department their perceptions of issues and areas of concern regarding Tiger Mountain. During this time they have reviewed the trust responsibilities of DNR, the manager for these state lands, the relevant physical and biological data and discussed recreational user groups' activities and desires. A staff person was assigned to the Committee to coordinate and guide its activities and to serve as a liaison to the DNR. The Committee's role is advisory to the Department of Natural Resources. The DNR, in turn, will develop a plan for Tiger Mountain which must be approved by the Board of Natural Resources, the policy and decision making board for all state trust lands. The Board includes the Governor, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Commissioner of Public Lands, the Dean of the University of Washington College of Forest Resources and the Dean of the College of Agriculture at Washington State University. Throughout its deliberations, the Committee has remained cognizant of the three constraints in its Charter: the trust nature of state lands; sound principles of resource management; multiple-use provi- sions compatible with the basic trust obligation. These constraints form a hierarchy of responsibilities against which these guidelines and all future management decisions should be judged. All of the land in the State Forest is trust land, managed by the DNR for the benefit of the Common School (K-12) Construction Fund, the counties and various public institutions such as prisons. The management of these lands by the DNR is constrained by the common law duties of trustees. Some of these duties include the administration of the trust in the interest of the beneficiaries, the use of care and skill that an ordinary prudent person would exercise in the handling of property, the production of revenue without unduly favoring present beneficiaries over future ones, prevention of actions which make the trusts liable for civil and criminal penalties and the reasonable diversification of trust assets to reduce the risk of loss. Permeating these guidelines is the opportunity to provide for many types of education on Tiger Mountain. A basic reason for the creation of the Tiger Mountain State Forest is the desire for an accessible outdoor laboratory where forest resource managers can demonstrate to the public the techniques of modern forestry. The State Forest will also provide educational opportunities for students and the general public to learn about forest ecology, harvesting, and regeneration of new forest crops. By careful management, the sustained yield of both timber and non-timber products including wildlife, clean air and 28 5