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Share Your Vision for the Future of Trails on the Mount Baker District

Posted by kkubitza at Mar 30, 2018 03:30 PM |

The Forest Service is seeking input from hikers on opportunities for projects in the Mount Baker Ranger District along the North Fork Nooksack River corridor. Help shape the Nooksack Integrated Conservation and Enhancement Project by attending a meeting in Maple Falls March 8 or April 12.

The Forest Service is in the early stages of scoping opportunities for projects in the North Fork Nooksack River corridor, and they're looking for input from people who hike and play there.

The region has some of the best recreation opportunities in the Mount Baker Ranger District, with soaring vistas and opportunities to experience glaciers up close. Popular area hikes include Church Mountain, Heliotrope Ridge, Welcome Pass, Skyline Divide, Damfino Lakes, Canyon Ridge and Hannegan Pass.

The Nooksack Integrated Conservation and Enhancement (NICE) Project is expected to be a comprehensive land management, conservation, and recreation plan. Attend one of the upcoming meetings to help shape it.

Heliotrope Ridge by LZhang.jpegHeliotrope Ridge by LZhang.

A work in progress

This new watershed-scale project comes after extensive work the Forest Service completed 2005-2016 developing an Access and Travel Management Plan for the North Fork Nooksack. That process evaluated the 2,500 miles of trails in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and developed a plan for which roads to keep open, maintenance needs and what roads to close.

WTA engaged the hiking community on this plan, which was critical in securing a commitment to keep open all roads that lead to developed trails.

Speak up for trails, Share how you use them

Before drafting this new management, conservation and recreation plan, the Forest Service is holding two public meetings to collect feedback on concerns and interests in the North Fork Nooksack area.

Nooksack Integrated Plan Project Area
Interactive maps of the draft project area. The North Fork Nooksack River is fed from glaciers on the east side of Mount Shuksan, then runs north and west, paralleling the Mount Baker Hwy (SR 542) and converges with the Middle Fork Nooksack River near Kulshan.

This is a great opportunity share your thoughts on access improvement projects and recreation projects such as trailhead parking and bathroom improvements, trail maintenance needs, new hiking opportunities and other recreation enhancement ideas. The Forest Service will also be collecting feedback on vegetation management, habitat restoration, and other conservation issues.

Attend one of these meetings to share your experiences and tell the Forest Service that hiking trails and facilities are important.

April 12, 2018, 7-9 p.m.
East Whatcom Regional Resource Center
8251 Kendall Road (SR547)
Maple Falls, WA

Can't make it to a meeting?  Learn more, explore interactive maps and share your thoughts with the Forest Service using online form on this page.

You don't have to be an expert on the area to give useful feedback. Just share how you hike and play there. Consider these questions and examples when providing your thoughts about trails in the North Fork Nooksack:

  • If you currently recreate in the North Fork Nooksack, where do you go and what you like to do there? (Example: I enjoy hiking to High Divide because there are great views.)
  • What improvements to hiking trails would you like to see in the North Fork Nooksack? (Ex: improvements to the Excelsior Trail)
  • What improvements to roads/access would you like to see in the North Fork Nooksack? (Ex: reopen Canyon Creek Road to provide access to Damfino Trail).
  • What improvements to recreation facilities would you like to see in the North Fork Nooksack? (Ex: parking lot expansion, bathroom facilities, campsite improvements)
  • When you go hiking, what kind of experience(s) do you like to have? (Ex: I want to get to the top of a peak. I like to backpack and spend the night out under the stars.)


See photos, explore interactive maps and learn more about the project goals.
Forest Service Project Page

Originally posted 3.6.18. Updated 3.30.18