Reiter Foothills: Clearcuts don’t make for enjoyable hikes

I am writing to express my concern about the enthusiasm with which your newspaper recently portrayed DNR’s plans for logging 430 acres of healthy forest in the Reiter Foothills, much of it adjacent to Wallace Falls State Park (“Two timber harvests planned near Gold Bar recreation areas,” The Herald, June 26). These beautiful forests are economic drivers for our local recreation-based economy, and clear-cutting destroys that value for many decades to come. Many of us living in the upper Skykomish Valley live here because of the incredible access to outdoor recreation, but cutting down the forests many moved here to access decreases the desirability of our communities and, therefore, our tax base for our schools and other services.

Your article referenced creating more trails by clearcutting to make room for trails. I am not familiar with any recreationalists who prefer to hike or mountain bike in clearcuts when given the choice between that and a lush century-old forest. Rather than clearcutting next to Snohomish County’s busiest state park, we need to create a world-class trail system throughout this area. Issaquah boasts more than 200 miles of trails on 1,300 acres. The Gold Bar area has many times more acres of public lands just waiting, and so many opportunities for creating an unbelievable network of trails which would improve health, quality of life and economy for our community.

Rachel Chesley

Gold Bar

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