Nason Ridge and Coulter Creek Forest Lands

NasonRidgeMeetingLast weekend community members from the Lake Wenatchee/Plain area met to learn about and discuss plans for the local timber land owned by the Weyerhaeuser Company. The public turn-out exceeded that of the two previous meeting dealing with the same topic held earlier in Leavenworth and Dryden. The meeting was hosted by Chelan County, Chelan Douglas Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land.

The question: Should the Weyerhaeuser timber lands be purchased?

The meeting’s purpose was for stake holders to determine public interest in acquiring the Weyerhaeuser land and to question the participants about their interests in how this property should be used and managed, with an emphasis on the consequences of management of this possible acquisition.

A steering committee meeting of the stake-holders was held in January and included representatives from Chelan County, Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, Nature Conservancy, State Fish and Game, State Parks, Department of Nature Resources, US Forest Service, and recreational groups, including the Nason Ridge Brush Cutters. Another meeting scheduled for this spring to plan next steps.

On Saturday, more than 70 participants met in small groups and provided their vision of how this area should be managed and what activities should be permitted and where.

The issues that were discussed but still unresolved included:

Ownership and management by whom?
Who maintains the roads and trails and who will repairs the washouts?
Who polices the property?

There seemed to be strong agreement that both fishing and hunting within this area should be maintained. And that selective logging should be put into the plan to preserve the economic value of the future timber.

Other suggestions included:

Create a separation of motorized and non-motorized vehicles between the Nason Ridge trail system and the Coulter Creek trail system. (Better signage would be necessary.)
Add a Sno-Park off the Butcher Creek road that will connect with the Nason Ridge Trail system (that might require improving the road to the Sno-Pak and winter plowing).
Consider some XC-trail on the Coulter Creek side of US-2 that would connect with the Nason Ridge trails.
Consider adding warming huts on Nason Ridge.
Streamline the winter Sno-Park purchase system and allow the sellers of ‘day passes’ more profit to offer this service.

The link below provides additional information about the possible acquisition of the 38,000 acres of Weyhaeuser plan. CDLT Link.

Additional input can be made directly via email to the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust.

Bill Miller

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