The state Department of Natural Resources wants to expand a conservation area of thousands of acres that adjoins the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Before making a decision on whether to add to the Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area, the DNR wants to hear what people think about the idea. A public meeting is scheduled Wednesday night. The DNR intends to accept comments until May 16.
“We think it’s a great addition to the (conservation area), but we also want to reach out the public and make sure they’re feeling the same way,” DNR spokeswoman Jane Chavey said.
Morning Star, near Spada Lake, includes about 26,000 acres. One part of the proposed transfer is relatively small and could take place later this year. That involves 136 acres of state trust lands.
The DNR also wants to discuss adding about 3,200 of its state trust lands near Spada Lake to the conservation area, Chavey said. That’s unlikely to happen until after this year.
The proposed additions should add nesting, roosting and foraging habitat for the northern spotted owl, which is listed as federally threatened, Chavey said.
The state formed the current Morning Star conservation area in 2007 by combining three smaller areas: an original, smaller Morning Star, Mount Pilchuck and Greider Ridge.
Terrain includes alpine meadows, forests, lakes and glaciers. It ranges from low elevations to the 6,610-foot-tall Del Campo Peak. Some rock crevices and cliff ledges are home to sensitive plant species such as the Alaska harebell and Cooley’s buttercup. The conservation area also hosts stands of western hemlock, Pacific silver fir and western red cedar.
Hiking and some camping are permitted.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The state Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a public hearing at 6 p.m. May 4 to present a proposed expansion to its Morning Star Natural Resources Conservation Area. It’s planned at the first floor meeting room of Snohomish County’s Robert J. Drewel building on 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett.
For more information, call 360-902-1600. Or, go to tinyurl.com/DNRMorningStar.