Spotlight on the Suiattle, Action on Trail Access
As repairs to the Suiattle River Road slowly begin to approach reality, Ron Judd, a staff writer for The Seattle Times, has written thoughtful article in examining the challenges that hikers are facing in accessing some of the wild places hikers love. Find out how you can get involved in access issues.
As repairs to the Suiattle River Road slowly begin to approach reality, Ron Judd, a staff writer for The Seattle Times, has written a thoughtful article that examines the challenges hikers are facing in accessing some of Washington's wild places.
Give it a read, and find out how you can get involved in access issues below.
The long road to the Suiattle River Road repair
Judd's piece focuses on the critical function that core access roads play for hikers who wish to visit Washington's wild places, places like the west side of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, which the Suiattle River Road accesses.
Since 2003 and 2006, when landslides closed the Suiattle River Road past milepost 12 (effectively locking out hikers from some great trails in the Cascades) Washington Trails Association has been heavily engaged with the Suiattle Road repair process, drafting the sign-on letter referenced in the article, helping convene the groups that signed on, and rallying hikers to speak up for the road.
And one day, hopefully very soon, climbers will be able to summit Glacier Peak from the west side of the Cascades, and hikers will more easily be able to visit the sprawling, stream-riven meadows of this incredible wilderness.
How to get involved in fighting for smart, sustainable access to trails
As WTA continues to advocate for the Suiattle and other critical access roads through our State of Access Report and our efforts with the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest on their Sustainable Roads Analysis project, this kind of coverage is important.
Even more importantly, we urge hikers to get engaged on these issues. We can't afford to keep all roads open, for good fiscal and ecological reasons. But the key access points that hikers depend on are worth fighting for.
Here are two actions you can take right now:
1. Help create sustainable roads in National Forests. You can attend one of four upcoming public meetings in Darrington, Monroe, Bellingham and Everett hosted by the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest as part of a public process to help guide how its manages public access to trails while balancing preserving the environment and stewarding scarce public funds. This Sustainable Roads Analysis is your chance to provide feedback on where you recreate on National Forests and how you get there.
2. Sign up for the Trail Action Network and receive periodic alerts about important issues that affect hikers, like road access, invites to advocacy-oriented events, and tips for activists. Sign up now.