NFF will work with local communities and organizations to create a sustainable approach in improving recreation opportunities and conserving wildlife habitat
The National Forest Foundation (NFF), the congressionally-chartered nonprofit working to improve and restore the health of our 193 million acre National Forest System, has designated Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie (MBS) as one of its Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences.
As part of this four-year conservation program, the NFF and U.S. Forest Service will collectively invest $14 million to on-the-ground work, improving recreation areas and visitor experiences along the Mountain Loop Highway on the MBS National Forest. The NFF will be engaging local stewards, community partners and businesses to improve the forest.
“The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is often considered as one of the most visited National Forests in the country, and with visitation at an all-time high, working to ensure access and sustain the health and diversity of our forest is imperative.” said Jody Weil, MBS Forest Supervisor. “Our partnership will be instrumental in helping protect our watersheds, meet our tribal treaty obligations, help accommodate more members of the public, and to sustain quality outdoor experiences along the Mountain Loop Highway,” she added.
The project will consist of rebuilding and restoring popular hiking trails and campgrounds as well as improving trail inclusivity and accessibility to recreation areas along the Mountain Loop Highway, a National Scenic Byway that follows the Stillaguamish and Sauk Rivers through the National Forests. The highway is an integral part of the National Forest as it provides 147 access points for hiking, biking, fishing, camping, kayaking, rock climbing, and sight-seeing activities, including the popular Big Four Mountain ice caves. The initiative will also be working to rehabilitate wildlife habitats surrounding the highway, including the threatened runs of salmon, which are culturally important to the local Native American tribes.
The Mountain Loop Highway on this National Forest is valued as a treasured landscape by many people, especially the Native American tribal people who have lived here for countless generations. We are looking forward to connecting the local communities and tribes in improving degraded recreation areas while improving the environment for sustainable use in years to come.
Join NFF for a special Instagram Live event with Washington Trails Association on May 13 at 4 PM (PST). Follow @nationalforests on Instagram to tune in and visit nationalforests.org/MBS for more information about the Treasured Landscapes site.